Something’s coming to Hooper City in North Birmingham. Could it be Amazon?

Amazon might be building a new facility in North Birmingham
By the time the Amazon fulfillment center opens in Bessemer, lots of people will be doing jobs like this. Photo from Amazon via Facebook

Most of the time we here at Bham Now bring you news about thing we know are going to happen.

Today we heard from the good people at the Birmingham Business Journal (the BBJ for short) that Amazon might be cooking something up in Hooper City. We’ll give you the basics and speculate on what this might mean for Birmingham.

1. What’s this about North Birmingham and Amazon and what does it mean?

Isn’t Google Earth so cool? We wanted to give you a visual of the area that’s under discussion. . .

The folks at the BBJ did some really awesome detective work, following a trail of clues:

  • Somebody’s planning a “96,770-square-foot office/warehouse and delivery center building . . . for a 30-acre site at 225 Daniel Payne Drive in the Hooper City Neighborhood.”
  • Current estimates are at about 100 potential jobs.
  • Whether the Hooper City project is Amazon or a mystery company, it’s already jumping through the necessary hoops to get approval.
  • In the planning stages, representatives from all involved government agencies and private entities are keeping quiet.
  • Finally, according to the BBJ, this could be “one of the biggest economic development projects for a city of Birmingham neighborhood – outside of downtown proper – in recent memory.”

We’re kind of excited to see how this plays out. What about y’all?

Acipco is one of the last remaining businesses in North Birmingham
The site in question is a bit northwest of Acipco. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Whatever is coming, we imagine it could give a welcome boost to North Birmingham, an area that has declined in recent years for a number of different reasons.

3. Bet you didn’t know Amazon was already in North Birmingham, did you?

Amazon - Mobile, Alabama
Looks like a giant warehouse to me. Photo via Amazon

If you’re like me, you may be surprised to learn that Amazon already has a “sortation center.” For the word nerds in the crowd, apparently sortation basically means automated sorting. Had to look that one up.

The North Birmingham sortation center opened at 2601 27th Street North in late 2018 and employs 3 dozen-ish workers.

4. What about the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer?

Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer
I just want to know what this cool looking thing actually does. Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Amazon’s hard at work on their new fulfillment center on Powder Plant Road in Bessemer.
  • It’s a $325 million project that will be the size of 14 football fields.
  • And, it’s bringing a bunch of jobs. Depending on who you talk to, it’s somewhere between 1500 and 3000+ jobs. The higher numbers include contractors who are building the place.
  • A sizable chunk of that fulfillment center is for “FBA Vendors.” These products come from small business owners who sell their wares via Amazon.
  • The word on the street is that this should be complete mid-to-late 2020. We’ll see if it or the 59/20 bridge project is done first.

5. Looking for an Amazon job?

Bo Jackson and Bessemer Mayor at Amazon Fulfillment Center site
Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley with Bo Jackson at the Amazon Fulfillment Center site. Photo by Jacob Blankenship

If you’re hankering for one of the 1000+ jobs the fulfillment center promises to bring, there are a couple of places you can go to find out more:

  • If you’re looking for the $15/hour and up hourly rate jobs, sign up here to get alerts about jobs as they become available.
  • If you want to learn more about what’s involved in working at a fulfillment center, check here.
  • If you want a salaried position and you’ve got the skills, this is your best bet.

Now tell us, Birmingham, what do you think of the possibility of Amazon (or someone else) coming to North Birmingham with a big economic development project and some new jobs? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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