It's official! Amazon opening delivery station at Knoxville Center Mall property
More than a year after it shuttered for good, the Knoxville Center Mall property has been sold and is poised for new life as an Amazon delivery center, according to a press release.
The facility will open in 2022 and "will power Amazon's last-mile delivery capabilities to speed up deliveries for customers in the Tennessee Valley," according to the press release.
Amazon is investing $30-40 million in the project and is not receiving state or local incentives, according to the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
The delivery station will create "hundreds" of part-time and full-time jobs starting at $15 an hour, though an Amazon spokesperson could not clarify the number of jobs nor the total investment in the project.
In the past, Knoxville officials have estimated the center would create 730 jobs.
Delivery stations are the last stop for Amazon packages, which are put together at Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers. There are already four delivery stations in Tennessee.
The Knoxville delivery station will be designed to utilize Amazon's electric delivery vehicles; the company has pledged to put 10,000 electric vehicles on the road in 2022.
Hillwood Enterprises is the developer and will demolish the mall to build a 219,000-square-foot warehouse in its place.
Known as "Project Malibu," the Knoxville Center Mall facility is the second investment Amazon is making in East Tennessee.
It is spending $200 million in Alcoa to build a 635,000-square-foot fulfillment center that will employ no less than 800 people. That facility is also being developed by Hillwood.
The most recent project timeline estimates mall buildings would be demolished beginning in March and end in July. A shell of the building would start to take shape this fall and Hillwood would like to complete construction in April 2022.
Hillwood began discussions with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce in May 2020. Knoxville City Council approved rezoning the land for industrial use in November that allowed the project to move forward.
To expedite the approval process, Hillwood representatives scaled down the size of the proposed campus, which originally included two buildings of 110,000 and 280,000 square feet. It also reduced the number of truck docks and agreed to adhere to noise and light standards for residential areas to satisfy neighbors and officials.
Knoxville Center Mall opened in 1984 and closed in early 2020. The 961,000-square-foot mall saw a steady decline in tenants after Dillard's departed in 2008.
Knoxville Partners LLC purchased the mall for $10.1 million in 2016. At that time, Knox News estimates there were 60 tenants. By 2018, it was 33. On its last day in business, three tenants remained.
Three of the anchor tenant spaces were owned by three separate entities. The sale of the property to Hillwood includes all four parcels.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Brenna McDermott
The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org
Published March 15, 2021