ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The fate of Amazon’s newly built delivery station in Rockford is in question as the approximately 300 jobs expected at the facility still haven’t been posted.
Amazon’s hiring website, as of Oct. 2, lists openings at the fulfillment center at 4650 Shepherd Trail and the air hub at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. But positions at the new facility at 5266 Baxter Road are nowhere to be found.
Construction at the facility was completed earlier this year. The company announced before it broke ground that the operation would be up and running by the end of 2022.
Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli told Eyewitness News on Sept. 16 that as far as he knew, the nearly $30 million facility hasn’t opened because Amazon was still waiting for a fleet of electric delivery vans from automaker Rivian.
Meanwhile, the building is still vacant, and there’s no word on whether it’s on the growing list of Amazon projects that are being scrapped or backburnered as the company continues to decrease its distribution footprint.
If Amazon mothballs the project, it wouldn’t be first time it pulled the plug on a facility after it’s been built.
The company announced this spring it was planning to unload about 10 million square-feet of warehouse space as the high demand for e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic has waned over the last two years. As a result, Amazon is sitting on real estate it owns and subleasing property to other companies.
“Subleasing is something many established corporations do to help manage their real estate portfolio,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal in May.
Amazon’s list of facilities it is closing, delaying, or canceling across the country stands at more than 70 and counting. The Illinois sites on the cut list include projects in Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, and Huntley.
Messages to Amazon’s public relations firm about whether Rockford is now on the list have not been returned.