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Mayor Excited About Amazon Warehouse

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday city officials used “every incentive” available to them to “secure the deal” that is bringing an Amazon distribution center to the site of the old General Motors plant in Southeast Baltimore.

Earlier this year, the City Council approved legislation to make it cheaper to build larger, taller warehouses on the site. In addition, the mayor said, the online retailer is eligible for several tax credits, including brownfields tax credits and for an Enterprise Zone tax credit for every permanent full-time employee hired at a salary above the minimum wage.

Rawlings-Blake said negotiations with Duke Realty, which bought the property after GM pulled out, the city and Amazon had been going on for at least two months.

“Now that it’s reality and its 1,000 good paying jobs with benefits, it’s a great day for Baltimore,” she said.

Amazon, which announced Tuesday plans to open a one million square foot facility on the site where GM once turned out Chevy Impalas, Biscaynes and Monte Carlos, said the new jobs will be full-time with benefits that include health care, tuition assistance and company stock.

Rawlings-Blake said the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development is assisting Amazon with the hiring process to fulfill the available jobs and is working to make opportunities available for city residents.

The mayor also said the city is working with Duke Realty and the state Mass Transit Administration to provide increased bus service to the site.  No word on when the center will open.