DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Quad Cities community will have to wait a little longer for Amazon's distribution center to be completed in Davenport. Originally scheduled to open in September, the facility will be delayed until at least 2024, according to Amazon spokesperson Caitlin Polochak.
“We’re still excited to launch this new facility in Davenport, though we’ve had to adjust our timing," Polochak confirmed on Wednesday. "We know the Davenport community is excited about the opportunities we’ll be bringing to the area, and we look forward to sharing new timing along with information about the great jobs, pay — starting at $16/hour — and comprehensive benefits we’ll be offering just as soon as we can.”
Originally dubbed "Operation Scrabble," the robotic distribution center was Davenport's "secret" operation expected to create around 1,000 full-time jobs once fully operational, Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said in a July 2021 interview.
Polochak did not give specific details on the reasons behind the delay, but Jennifer Walker of the Quad Cities Chamber said "unforeseen circumstances" have pushed back the grand opening two years.
“It is common for developments of this size to have situations that impact their timeline along the way," Walker said. "It’s our understanding that Amazon is experiencing supply chain issues, just like many of our local employers are experiencing. We’re pleased that Amazon is committed to opening the facility, even if the project is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Amazon chose to develop its facility in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center located in the northwest Davenport industrial park near Northwest Boulevard and Interstate 80. When the original plans were announced in July 2021, construction was estimated to cost $250 million for the 640,000 square feet across 158 acres of land.
The City of Davenport agreed to make $3.9 million of upgrades to street infrastructure surrounding the Amazon facility, according to a statement from the city and QC Chamber in July 2021. The city applied for a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation to cover 60% of the costs while the rest will be paid using Davenport's general fund and bounds abated by TIF funds.
The following improvements were previously announced in July 2021 for the project:
- Reconstruct and install new turn lanes on north Division Street next to the project site.
- Improve the intersection at Hillandale Road & Research Parkway with the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center.
- Improve the intersection at the center’s entrance at Northwest Boulevard & Hillandale Road.
- Improve the intersection at Northwest Boulevard & West 76th Street.