Amazon plans for North Little Rock distribution site

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Amazon is planning to open its first Arkansas distribution center, North Little Rock officials announced.

Mayor Joe Smith told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the internet retail giant will open a “new concept” distribution center that will create up to 100 local jobs by this fall.

“We’re presented with an excellent opportunity for the city and for myself to bring an international company into our city,” said Planning Commission Chairman Norman Clifton.

The project will be Amazon’s first distribution center in the state, said Clifton, who owns the more than 4-acre (1.6-hectare) North Little Rock property the company wants to use for its facility. The Seattle-based company has proposed an 18-month lease with an option for an additional two years, he said.

The City Council gave unanimous approval Monday to rezone Clifton’s property from residential and conservation to an industrial classification for the planned warehouse.

Amazon wants “to get up and start on the infrastructure by Sept. 1,” Clifton said. “This is a new concept for them and they’re going to test it in this market and on this property. They’re excited about getting here and getting going.”

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment on the project, but Smith said he talked with representatives last week and “pledged to them we’ll do everything we can do to assure there are no roadblocks to this.”