The Herald News, Wednesday, November 25, 2015 – Page A1
By Kevin P. O’Connor
Fall River – Ink is on paper, and concrete is in the ground.
The deal is now officially closed on the sale of land that will host an Amazon distribution facility in the city.
LIT Fall River LLC officially took title to 77 acres at the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park on Tuesday. The company closed on a parcel that straddles the Fall River-Freetown line, according to John Coughlin, attorney for the Fall River Redevelopment Authority, the entity that is developing the biotechnology park.
The limited liability company is a subsidiary of Trammel Crow, a property development company based in Dallas. Trammel Crow is building the million-square-foot facility, which it will lease to Amazon.
Amazon, the Internet retail giant, told state officials that the facility will be used as a large package fulfillment center. Kayaks, wide-screen TVs and furniture are examples of items that will be handled by the facility, Amazon officials told state officials.
Amazon has not returned several calls or emails to discuss the project.
RC Andersen LLC, the project’s general contractor, received permission from the Redevelopment Authority to begin work at the site two weeks ago. Since the land has been cleared and sculpted. Workers began pouring concrete footings for the building this week.
The building itself will cover 23 acres, according to building plans filed with the city.
RC Anderson officers declined comment on the project, citing a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced the closing of the deal at a press conference held Tuesday morning at Amazon’s offices in Cambridge.
At the press conference, Baker said a Workforce Skills Cabinet, made up of three cabinet members, would coordinate with Amazon and other companies to help craft training programs for employees, assist in grant applications and help companies through the regulatory process.
“They will be working with our Career Center, Bristol Community College and our vocational schools to see to it that their employees have the skills they need,” said Rep. Alan Silvia, D-Fall River, who attended the event.
Sen. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, said he spoke with Jay Ash, the state secretary of Housing and Economic Development about the project.
“He said he will be sure that companies like Amazon, who are making an investment in Massachusetts, will have all the tools they need to succeed,” Rodrigues said.
Officials with Trammel Crow, when meeting with city officials, said they hope to have the facility ready for operation in time for the holiday season in 2016.