Amazon to Open 7th Distribution Center in Tennessee

Along with a heavy investment in robotics, the facility will employ more than 1,000 associates.
Image courtesy of Amazon.com Inc.

Amazon has announced plans to open an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment and sortation center on a 79-acre site in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., with completion expected in late 2021. Mt. Juliet is just east of metro Nashville, Tenn., and just north of I-40.


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The facility will be the seventh Amazon fulfillment and sortation center in Tennessee; others are in Charleston, Chattanooga, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Memphis and Nashville. The Mt. Juliet facility will also be Amazon’s second fulfillment center in Tennessee to use “innovative robotics technology,” according to the company. More specifically, hundreds of robots will map out the best routes to bring human employees to the inventory, help them take items from shelves, and move stacks of inventory around and handle other heavy lifting, such as stacking boxes on pallets for shipping.

Rendering of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Amazon facility. Image courtesy of Amazon.com Inc.

Nonetheless, the facility is expected to create more than 1,000 new, full-time jobs, evidently in large part to focus on picking, packing and shipping smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and consumer goods.

The Mt. Juliet center will have increased sanitation protocols and reportedly will accommodate social distancing. No further information was available on this project as of press time.

Resilient so far

The project is being developed by Panattoni Development Co. Inc. In January, Panattoni sold Lear Industrial Center, a 1.4 million-square-foot, four-building business park in Reno, Nev., to Clarion Partners for $117.3 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to have stalled Nashville’s warehouse/distribution market, according to a second-quarter report from JLL. Ground was broken on more than 1 million square feet of space in the second quarter, total absorption in the quarter topped 1.3 million square feet, and direct asking rents rose to $5.07, from $4.97 in the first quarter. Overall vacancy was only 3.2 percent, and about 4.2 million square feet of distribution space was under construction, again according to JLL.