Northwest Florida Roundup
All Hands on Deck
All Hands on Deck
Leon County officials, concerned over closings and delays of Amazon’s national network of distribution centers, are now more optimistic that the e-commerce giant’s $200-million Tallahassee fulfillment center is on track to open later this year.
Their growing confidence is based on news that Amazon has brought on board senior executives to manage the facility expected to bring about new 1,000 jobs to the area.
District 4 Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch says Amazon is establishing its leadership and management team in advance of a “full hiring blitz,” which he expects will happen in the next “several months.”
The next step will be stocking the 600,000-sq.-ft. facility, says Welch.
The building itself was completed earlier this year and is currently undergoing installation of robotic machinery and handling equipment.
Amazon contractors began work on the building in 2021 and anticipated it would be open for business in late 2022. But soon after the start of construction, the Seattle-based company began slashing expenses because of supply chain issues, inflation and a nationwide slowdown in consumer demand.
- For the fourth consecutive year, Florida A&M University is the highest ranked public historically Black college and university, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Colleges ranking of top public universities. FAMU is ranked No. 103 overall and No. 23 on the social mobility index, a measure of FAMU’s ability to alter the economic trajectory of their students, alumni and their families.
- Florida A&M University’s initial plan to add 1,000 beds on campus has doubled. A proposal lays out three projects that include a 500-bed residence hall, a 700-bed residence hall and an 800-bed mixed-use apartment complex.
- Housing Trust Group and AM Affordable Housing have begun construction of Princeton Grove, a $23.5-million affordable housing community for seniors in Crestview. AM Affordable Housing is owned by NBA Hall of Famer and former Miami Heat basketball player Alonzo Mourning.
- The Panama City Beach Council has approved an ordinance that prohibits drones from flying within 500 feet from a private property without the property owner's permission, as well as flying within the same elevation over public property to survey someone's private property.
- The Pensacola City Council is considering a plan to turn an empty warehouse at the Port of Pensacola into an indoor sports facility with 15 pickleball courts. Rob Fabbro, president of Pensacola-based general contractor Whitesell-Green and a developer with Warehouse 4 Sports, has offered to invest up to $4 million to rehabilitate the 45,000-sq.-ft. building and modify it for multiple sports.
- Plans are underway in Tallahassee for the first of two large hotels proposed by the Houston-based Valencia Hotel Group. The group’s proposal calls for a 225-room hotel near the civic center in downtown Tallahassee. Valencia developers are working with city officials to obtain all necessary building permits for the nearly three-acre site.