SPANISH FORT – After months of effort to bring an Amazon distribution facility to Spanish Fort, city officials are looking at new uses for property on Bass Pro Drive after the company announced that it was considering an alternate site.
Mayor Mike McMillan said Spanish Fort confirmed that Amazon’s plans had changed on Monday just before the city’s Planning Commission was scheduled to vote to rezone the proposed site.
“We started getting calls on Monday,” McMillan said Tuesday. “They said they were looking at doing something different, maybe 1 million square feet, which they couldn’t do out there.”
He said Amazon did not give any other reasons for not selecting Spanish Fort for the center.
“They said the city’s been perfect,” McMillan said, “jumping through all the hoops.”
An Amazon spokeswoman said the company did not comment on reasons for such decisions.
“Amazon is a dynamic business and we are constantly exploring new locations and weighing a variety of factors when deciding where to develop sites to best serve customers,” spokeswoman Ashley Lansdale said. “Amazon has a policy of not commenting on our future roadmap and we are not commenting on any operations plans in Alabama at this time.”
McMillan said the city will consider other options for the property.
“We need to do some thinking,” he said. “That property is better suited for retail than for a warehouse. I look for that to be retail and we’ve got some prospects that we’re looking at. It’s disappointing, sure, but we’re going to be better off because of this.”
Spanish Fort officials announced in December that Amazon had contacted the city with plans to build a distribution facility on the property on Bass Pro Drive. The center was planned as a facility where parcels would be brought from Amazon warehouses and loaded into trucks for deliveries to homes and businesses in the area.
The center was expected to employ about 115 people.