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Plans for distribution center — perhaps for Amazon — to be discussed at Monday meeting

Large distribution center possibly for Amazon

A large distribution center in south Bibb County is possibly for e-commerce giant Amazon.com. The 1 million-square-foot facility would employ up to 1,000 people during peak season.
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A large distribution center in south Bibb County is possibly for e-commerce giant Amazon.com. The 1 million-square-foot facility would employ up to 1,000 people during peak season.

Plans for a distribution center on property in south Bibb County that was rezoned last month will be discussed at Monday’s zoning meeting.

But few details about who’s moving in are expected.

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission is expected to discuss an application for a conditional-use permit to allow a distributing warehouse taller than 35 feet at 4995 Sardis Church Road. The property is zoned for warehouse and light industrial, and it is currently a hay field. The applicant is the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, which owns the land.

The company planning to go in is called “Project Unicorn” on the application. Company names often remain a secret until the deal is finalized and the company is ready to make an announcement.

However, as reported in The Telegraph in September, the gigantic building is similar in several ways to fulfillment centers Amazon.com is building around the country to fill its online orders quickly.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company has been building a number of fulfillment centers across the country. The size, height, layout, color scheme and planned use of the Macon facility are the same or similar to many of those fulfillment centers.

The proposed 1 million-square-foot distribution center would be built on 97 acres adjacent to Interstate 75, Sardis Church Road and Skipper Road, according to the application.

Surrounding property has a variety of zoning districts, including multifamily, single family, agricultural, industrial and commercial.

Plans call for a building with a height of about 50 feet. This falls in line with other industrial buildings in the area, including Tractor Supply Co., Tyson and FedEx, all in the I-75 Business Park across I-75 from this proposed project.

The new distribution center would employ about 600 people and up to 1,000 workers during peak times. It would operate 24/7 all year. The center would have 1,000 parking spaces, plus up to 100 future spaces for employees and visitors, 250 spaces for trailers and 75 future trailer spaces, according to the commission’s staff report.

It would be used “for the purposes of receiving, storing, shipping, distributing, and selling of products, materials and merchandise, which may also include alcohol products and grocery items, … for limited direct customer product pick-up from self-service kiosks, … (and) for processing customer product and merchandise returns,” according to a statement filed with the zoning office.

The center would face Skipper Road with the loading docks and truck parking adjacent to I-75, the staff report said. A heavily landscaped 4-foot-tall earthen berm will be put in adjacent to Skipper Road and the site would include other landscaping such as canopy trees and shrubs throughout the site. Also, it will include two storm water treatment ponds.

Plans call for a signal light to be installed at the intersection of Sardis Church and Skipper roads, with turn lanes on those roads.

“The future land use plan anticipates industrial uses for the area based on the new I-75 interchange and Sardis Church Road Connector project,” the staff report said.

The commission meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the 10th floor conference room, Willie C. Hill Government Center Annex, 682 Cherry St.

Other items on the agenda are:

ITEMS FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

2790 Vineville Ave,: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of roof, porch and to remove trees, HR-1 District. Jay Strong, applicant.

3975 West Oak Drive: Variance in setback requirements to allow an accessory building, PDR District. Deldra Phillips, applicant.

VARIANCES:

2350 Riverside Drive: Variance to allow a reduction in setback requirements to a residential district, C-2 District. Jed Renfroe, applicant.

RATIFICATION:

750 Baconsfield Drive: Conditional use to allow a job readiness training/coaching facility [17-21176], C-4 District. Nattlie Ringer, applicant.

Linda S. Morris: 478-744-4223, @MidGaBiz

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