Sacramento County has received an application for an 855,000-square-foot building in Metro Air Park, and one local business leader said he has heard Amazon may be a prospective tenant.
“The rumor is pretty solid, but it’s not a done deal yet,” said Joshua Wood, CEO of Region Business, a Sacramento area business advocacy organization.
County spokeswoman Chris Andis would confirm only that the county’s building permits division received an application on May 3 for Metro Air Park, a property near Sacramento International Airport.
“The footprint of the building is 855,000 square feet,” Andis said in an email.
Metro Air Park has long been envisioned by some community leaders as a business and jobs center north of Sacramento. However, the recession and a 2008 building moratorium in Natomas stalled various plans and proposals floated for the site.
Improved economic conditions and resumed building in the area recently spurred hopes that Metro Air Park would again be a prime site for development.
Amazon has rapidly expanded its presence in California in the aftermath of what was once a bitter battle with the state.
Back in the summer 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law forcing Amazon and other e-retailers to collect sales tax from California customers, a move that pleased brick-and-mortar retailers who loudly charged that online firms, Amazon primary among them, had long had an unfair pricing advantage through what they characterized as a tax dodge.
Amazon responded by devoting $5.25 million to collect signatures for a 2012 referendum that would have asked voters to overturn California's online sales tax law. The company also fired 10,000 affiliated businesses and nonprofits that funneled customers to the retailer.
In September 2011, the rancor vaporized as lawmakers and Amazon struck a compromise.
Brown subsequently signed a law suspending the sales tax collection until September 2012, Amazon suspended its ballot fight and put out the welcome mat for the previously jettisoned in-state sales reps. Amazon also vowed to bring 10,000 jobs to California. The company followed through, building five new fulfillment centers stretching from Tracy to Moreno Valley and confirming last year that it was employing more than 10,000 in the Golden State.
In April this year, Amazon dramatically expanded its mega-quick delivery service in the Sacramento area, offering free same-day shipping on more than 1 million of its most popular items. The service, known as Prime Free, is available to Amazon Prime members who place orders that exceed $35. Amazon also expanded the Prime Free service to Fresno, Stockton and eight other U.S. markets.