On Monday night, the mayor and council of the Town of Middletown approved construction of a 1.2 million square-foot distribution warehouse at 401 Classic Drive. The center will be  in the Westtown Development near Levels Road.

Though rumors circulated for months that Amazon.com was the tenant, it was finally confirmed that Amazon will occupy the site.

Amazon.com has a distribution facility in New Castle, Del. which employs 500. The Seattle, Wash-based company is a major online distributor of books, software, computer  accessories and a host of other products. The company has over 43,200 employees worldwide.

The company rolled out a hit product late last year with the Kindle Fire, a tablet computer version of its popular lne of book readers.

The site is expected to aid the Cecil County economy, which has seen growth in distribution center employment, one example being the recent announcement that upscale retailer Restoration Hardware will operate a 150-employee warehouse in the western part of the county.

The Amazon location would be an easy drive for those residing in the Warwick and Cecilton areas.

Amazon has applied  a financial package from the State of Delaware.

Randy Duplechain, of Davis, Bowen + Friedel, representing Duke Realty, presented the final plan before the council, stating that the site will consist of a building with a 1 million square foot footprint, along with a 200,000 square foot mezzanine level. An offsite parking area will feature 2,500 parking spaces for full-time and seasonal employees.

According to Mayor Ken Branner, Amazon.com has indicated that the facility will have 849 year-round employees, with the capacity to add up to 2,500 more, to alleviate peak demand during seasonal holidays.

Branner also stated that up to $4 million will be available from state and federal funds to upgrade Merrimac Boulevard and Industrial Drive for the increased tractor trailer traffic that area around U.S. Route 301 will see.

Duplechain stated that the project will break ground in mid-January, with a tentative completion date of mid-September.



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