Amazon Shows Off New Sacramento Fulfillment Center

SACRAMENTO -- Talk about fast track -- a massive, 855,000 square foot building next to Sacramento International Airport wasn't here a year ago. But speed is the name of the game for Amazon, and that includes building and outfitting the company's first fulfillment center in Sacramento.

The warehouse will have a high-tech bent that will move a million-plus packages a day.

"The bots lift up a pod that's got product on it and brings that pod to an associate that's at a station, and then they go through the process of picking those products out," said General Manager Jordan Nelson.

Impressive stuff worthy enough for a "show and tell" for local government officials.

"The level of technology in this building sets a new standard in our region, and it's going to be a huge benefit for the city," Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said.

Benefits, as in jobs, 1,500 of them.

The four-story facility went up after levee improvements lifted the building moratorium in Natomas. The hope is that it will jump-start the airport business park that has languished for years and attract even more jobs.

"Others that are considering locating in Sacramento County see the success that occurs here. We can't wait to welcome them," said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna.

Automated conveyor systems are not yet operational, but Amazon still took steps to make sure it has future workers by donating $10,000 to the Natomas School District for its science, technology and engineering students.

With the good comes the bad.

"If you're a small vendor of goods in Sacramento and people buy a lot more from Amazon, it might be a negative," said Sacramento City Councilman Jeff Harris.

But high wages trickling down to local businesses can't be ignored.

"That's a big, big plus for the city," Harris said.

The Amazon fulfillment center is pretty much empty except for construction workers right now, but it will be buzzing come fall -- just in time for, what else, the holidays.