Amazon coming to Stockton may be tipping point to prosperity for the city
by Gene Beley, CVBT Correspondent
August 22, 2017
• Councilman hints there's more good news to come
• “My message to residents is to polish those resumes”
• With video of press conference
Mayor Michael Tubbs, the Stockton City Council and city Economic Director Micah Runner glowed with pride when they announced Tuesday that Amazon has agreed to build a 600,000 square foot distribution facility in Stockton that will employ at least 1,000 people.
Vice Mayor Elbert Holman said it was only about five years ago that he stood at the same city hall podium with the rest of the city council then when they announced Stockton was going into bankruptcy, at the time the largest U.S. city to fail financially.
“It was a time of discontent, uncertainty and not knowing where we were going,” he said. “But we put together a long range financial plan and stuck to it. Today Amazon is evidence that the plan we put into place is actually coming to fruition.”
The vice mayor said he wanted to thank not only the council members but Amazon “for having the confidence in our community to bring their business here and put our people to work so we can continue this effort of prosperity.”
“My message to residents is to polish those resumes and be prepared for a job so we can employ our community,” said Christina Fugazi, another City Council member.
“This will be a game changer,” said Jesus Andrade, the council member who represents south Stockton where the Amazon plant will be located. “My job as a representative is to see that the constituents and residents in my district are well prepared and ready to take these jobs.”
City Council member Dan Wright said there would be more good announcements to come, hinting that other major companies may be coming to Stockton “hopefully very soon.”
He said Stockton’s economic development team met all of Amazon’s timelines and Council member Susan Lenz said there is 1.7 million square feet of industrial space being built and their goal is to see three million square feet in the next 12 months.
Economic Development Director Micah Runner said it was not a tough sell because Amazon came to the city inquiring about space availability. Amazon said the proximity to their recently built plants in Tracy and Patterson would be an asset. “There were no special incentives,” Mr. Runner said. “They may take advantage of some of the existing programs in place attractive to them.”
“The level of investment that Amazon will bring to south Stockton hasn’t been seen in a long, long time,” said Mr. Andrade. “For us to have that victory in an area, according to the Grand Jury report has been neglected over the last 50 years, is definitely a tremendous victory for the area and the city. Servicing those employees with food, gas and other services is gong to have a triple effect. And it will have a tremendous positive effect in the surrounding communities.”
Mr. Runner would not divulge the exact location. He just said, “It will be in the South Airport Industrial area.” Mayor Michael Tubbs said a consulting firm has been hired to prepare a report on how best to train local people for Amazon.
Stockton, CA announces Amazon is a comin’ to town! from Gene Beley on Vimeo.