By Brice Wallace
Three companies have announced plans to place or expand operations in Utah, led by a $200 million Amazon regional fulfillment center in Salt Lake County.
Amazon Fulfillment Services Inc., Alliance Data Systems Inc. and Podium Inc. announced the projects last week after the companies were approved for state tax credit incentives by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board. The incentives are tied to the creation of 661 jobs over the next few years.
“This has been great,” board chairman Mel Lavitt said following the incentive approvals. “We should only have three companies like this at every meeting.”
Online retailer Amazon’s project will create several hundred jobs, of which 130 are tied to a $5.6 million incentive. The project is expected to result in $85.5 million in wages over eight years and $28.4 million in new state tax revenues during that time. An exact location for the 800,000-square-foot facility has not been announced.
“This is one of our flagship regional facilities and will employ hundreds and hundreds of people within the community. … We can’t wait to be part of the community,” Teresa Lynch, senior manager of economic development for the company, told the board.
“This is a big deal,” Gov. Gary Herbert said at the meeting, noting that Utah had been competing with at least six other states for the project and that having Amazon in Utah will help the state attract more companies.
“This is illustrative of the success that Utah is having growing the economy, creating jobs and [we] really have become the best-performing economy, the most diverse economy in America today, and this just continues to add value to our state and our brand as the best place for businesses and careers in America,” Herbert said.
“This has been a major effort. … We’re very, very excited to have them here,” said Jerry Oldroyd, chairman of the GOED board’s incentives committee. He noted that several agencies worked to make the project a success, in part because the company’s infrastructure needs are “just massive.”
Podium, founded in 2014 and based in Lehi, offers an analytics platform that enables communication via familiar channels like text messages to drive online discovery, answer general questions about the business, and collect in-depth customer feedback and online reviews. Its $10 million project was approved for a $1 million incentive tied to 426 new jobs. New wages are expected to total $124.7 million over five years and new state tax revenues are projected at $5.4 million during that time. Podium has not decided on a site but Lehi supports having the project within the city.
Alliance Data, based in Plano, Texas, will add 105 jobs over five years in a $15.6 million project with a $758,027 incentive. The new 134,000-square-foot facility will be at 12921 S. Vista Station Blvd., Draper.
The company’s card services business is a provider of tailored marketing and loyalty solutions, delivered through branded credit programs that drive more profitable relationships between retailers and their card members. The company has operated Comenity Capital Bank, headquartered in Utah, since 2003.
The project is expected to create $33.9 million in wages over five years and $5 million in new state tax revenue.