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Amazon opens ‘last-mile delivery station’ in Daytona

Amazon opens a ‘last-mile delivery station’ in Daytona that creates 100+ jobs and allows the e-commerce giant to offer same-day delivery locally.

DAYTONA BEACH — The highly anticipated Amazon last-mile delivery station here officially opened for business on Wednesday.

A sign next to the entrance to the office of the e-commerce giant’s new distribution facility on Mason Avenue, just east of Interstate 95, greeted new employees with the printed message: “Welcome Amazonians. It’s still day one! Are you ready to make a difference?”

Harland Harrington, operations manager for the 66,000-square-foot facility, declined to answer questions but said, “Yes,” when asked to confirm whether the facility was opening on Wednesday.

Dozens of delivery vans, including several dark blue ones bearing the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s Amazon Prime logo, could be seen in the complex’s parking lot as well as under the covered loading dock.

Shone Jemmott, a Seattle-based spokeswoman for Amazon, said in an interview earlier this year that the Daytona Beach last-mile delivery station would create “hundreds of job opportunities.”

“Amazon’s new Delivery Station in Daytona Beach is officially open for business,” Jemmott wrote in an email Wednesday night.

Robin King, CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia, confirmed that the regional workforce development agency recently began working with two staffing firms to fill more than 100 positions at Amazon’s new Daytona Beach facility.

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Grocery store wars heat up

DAYTONA BEACH — The area’s first Lucky’s Market roared out of the gate in Ormond Beach earlier this month and continues to draw hordes of shoppers more than a week after its grand opening.

“Oh my gosh, it’s been phenomenal. The crowds keep coming,” said Melissa Bradford, store director for the beachside Lucky’s at 101 E. Granada Blvd., on Thursday.

But the upscale Colorado-based grocer is just one of a number of national supermarket chains expanding their presence in the greater Daytona Beach area.

Others include ALDI, the German-based discount grocer that is set to open a new store in Ormond Beach along West Granada Boulevard this fall, as well as Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets, which is opening a 54,000-square-foot store at New Smyrna Beach Regional Shopping Center on May 23 that will be its largest in the Volusia-Flagler area.

Publix is also set to open a store this fall off of LPGA Boulevard in Daytona Beach, just west of Interstate 95.

The store will become the anchor tenant of a shopping center called Latitude Landings next to the entrance of the fast-growing Jimmy Buffett-themed Latitude Margaritaville 55-and-older community.

Lucky’s is also believed to be considering a second store in the area at the northeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards in Daytona Beach.

And developers have proposed grocery store-anchored projects in both downtown Daytona Beach and Port Orange.

In addition, Sam’s Club is nearing completion of a new membership warehouse store on the southeast quadrant of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

The 140,000-square-foot store at Tomoka Town Center, which is set to open in either late July or early August, will replace the existing nearly 30-year-old Sam’s Club store on Beville Road.

The increase in supermarkets here comes amid a growing battle among grocers both locally and nationally that includes e-commerce giant Amazon and Internet home delivery meal kit providers such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh.

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Amazon: Daytona facility to create ‘hundreds’ of jobs

DAYTONA BEACH — Amazon officially confirmed plans to open a “delivery station” in Daytona Beach this year that will create “hundreds of job opportunities.”

“The new station will power Amazon’s last-mile delivery capabilities to speed up deliveries for customers in the Daytona Beach area,” Shone Jemmott, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based Internet retail giant, wrote in an email to The News-Journal.

“The delivery station will create hundreds of job opportunities from full-time associates with comprehensive benefits starting on Day 1 to independent contractors who can … make up to $25 per hour delivering packages on behalf of Amazon,” Jemmott wrote. “We expect the site to open in 2019.”

Amazon has not sought economic incentives from either the city, county or state, according to Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance. The group of local business leaders assisted the project’s developer VanTrust Real Estate in quickly securing permits from the city to begin site work.

“They did not ask for any and I am not aware of any incentives being offered,” Sharples said.

The announcement by Amazon comes after weeks of wide-spread speculation that the project recently begun by VanTrust directly behind the Trader Joe’s distribution center was for the eCommerce giant.

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Is Amazon coming to Daytona Beach?

A developer and general contractor known for building distribution centers for e-commerce giant Amazon have quietly begun clearing land along Interstate 95 in Daytona Beach.

While the companies aren’t saying what the project is, speculation is growing that it could be an Amazon distribution center.

“I’m hopeful that it’s a credible rumor,” said Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry. “From my perspective, I hope it comes to fruition, but for now at this time it’s just a rumor.”

The 20-acre site is on Mason Avenue, directly east of the Trader Joe’s distribution center that opened in 2015.

Developer VanTrust Real Estate and general contractor The Conlan Co. last year teamed up to build a distribution center here along Clyde Morris Boulevard for German medical products maker B.Braun.

City officials confirmed that a building permit for the site at 2400 Mason Ave. was issued Feb. 18 to VanTrust, doing business as “JI Mason Avenue 319 LLC.”

The developer’s permit application stated its plans to build a 68,000-square-foot “industrial distribution building with office,” but the application did not name the end user. The estimated construction cost for the project is $13.8 million.

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