Work accelerates on Trumbull Amazon site, job fairs start next month
TRUMBULL — Workers are picking up the pace as Amazon prepares to open a new 110,000-square-foot warehouse at 7120 Main St.
On March 6, trucks and excavators were working on the site, and the portion of the property on Main Street had been fenced off with signs declaring the site an active construction zone with hard hats and safety glasses required.
The company bought the property Jan. 22 for a reported $7.5 million. The company also is investing an additional $11 million on the property, according to Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar. The new warehouse is expected to employ about 150 people.
According to the town Building Department, Amazon has received permits to do electrical work and carry out interior renovations on the building. Workers and construction equipment have been visible at the site since February.
First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said the warehouse could open as soon as July.
“The timetable is obviously still tentative to get open, but that’s the plan,” Tesoro said. Hiring is scheduled to begin in June, with information sessions for prospective employees starting in April, Tesoro said.
The warehouse will be used as a local distribution center, Bakalar said.
“It’s what they call the ‘Final Mile,’ the last leg of delivery,” she said.
The center, like a similar but larger facility being built in Stratford, will be a delivery hub for a 60-mile radius. The company has been leasing and buying property throughout Connecticut for the past few months, increasing its local network and contributing to an already thriving industrial real estate market, according to experts.
In addition to the warehouse jobs, Bakalar said there also will be entrepreneurial opportunities for delivery drivers through Amazon Flex. According to the company, Amazon Flex is a service where private individuals in their own vehicles make deliveries for the company. Similar to Uber, Amazon Flex drivers can set their own hours and receive an average of $18 to $25 per hour depending on location, tips and other factors.
Tesoro said she was hopeful that the negative impact to local residents would be minimal.
“Their deliveries will be between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., so it shouldn’t disrupt traffic around the area or the school buses coming out of the Spring Hill Road bus depot” less than a half mile away, she said.
The property has been vacant for more than a decade. The Read’s Department Store chain, which at one time included locations in Bridgeport, Danbury and the Trumbull mall, had operated the warehouse for years before the company shut down in 1993. Oxford Health Plans used the warehouse for office space for a number of years.
The $7.5 million sale had been in the works since early 2019, according to Tesoro. The development will boost the town’s Grand List, but it is not clear by how much.
The site, across the street from the Trumbull Nature and Arts Center, is accessible from Route 25 and Spring Hill Road. There is a traffic light at the Spring Hill Road intersection and another about a tenth of a mile south at Tashua Road. Road improvements to Spring Hill Road already are in the works.
“My staff and I are working closely with town officials including the Police Commission, Amazon and their representatives, the Greater Bridgeport Transit District and others to ensure we are ready for the traffic increase,” Tesoro said. “We want to make sure our economic growth is well planned, safe and provides maximum benefit to Trumbull.”
Bakalar said the warehouse will operate three shifts, so the employees’ arrivals and departures would be staggered throughout the day. She has met with officials at the Office of State Traffic Administration to discuss the best way to avoid traffic congestion at shift changes, she said.
“We’re working as a team to get ahead of the changes,” she said. “The site has been vacant for a decade, so people aren’t used to anyone coming or going from” there.
Town officials also have been working with the GBTA in an effort to increase bus service in the Route 25 corridor, Bakalar said.
“Because this will be a regional work force, we wanted the workers to be able to take the bus and get off right at the site,” Bakalar said. She added that Route 25, which is home to numerous businesses, shopping centers, nursing homes and other large employers, already had a need for more public transit.
Tesoro said the distribution center would have additional benefits beyond Grand List growth, including a spin-off financial impact on other businesses in the area.