Credit: Amazon

PULLMAN — Amazon will build a 40-acre distribution center in Pullman, filling a spot where Ryerson Steel once operated, Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) announced Monday.

Construction of the the warehouse, referred to as a “fulfillment center,” will begin in the spring with a goal of opening this fall, Beale said.

“Having a company such as Amazon double down on our community is exciting news for the 9th Ward,” Beale said.

The $60 million center will be built where Ryerson Steel once stood near 104th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, just north of Amazon’s Whole Foods Midwest Distribution Center, which opened in 2018. The news was first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business.

The new center is expected to create 500 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs, according to Beale.

“To have a few more hundred jobs in the community is amazing,” said Beale. “We’ve been working hard over the years to make all these things happen and to have one of the world’s largest companies coming to your community is unbelievable.”

Beale said construction is being fast-tracked.

“This facility has to be open by October 31 of this year,” Beale said. “This is on an expedited pace and we have to get this going as soon as possible.”

Landing the center is the latest victory for Beale and the nonprofit Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives. Recent successes include bringing in the Whole Foods distribution center, the nearby Pullman Community Center, the One Eleven Food Hall, Method Soap, Gotham Greens and more. Beale said more than $350 million in new industry and retail has come in.

The site for the Amazon warehouse was purchased in 2008 by Michael E. Kelly, owner of Park National Bank, Beale said.

“When the steel company left because the economy changed and the whole industry changed, if it had not been for the foresight of Mike Kell, to work with the community and purchase all that land, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Beale. 

The new center is an extension of the changes coming to Pullman and is an accomplishment for the community and the city, Beale said.

“This is a continuation of the renaissance that we’ve been under for the last couple of years,” Beale said. “This is just great for the city, great for the South Side and great for the 9th ward to be able to have a partner like Amazon come into the area.”

Beale said the project is moving forward with no tax dollars or incentives.

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