Amazon purchases land for Hawaii’s first distribution center

Business

HONOLULU (KHON) — Things could look a lot different on Auiki Street in the Sand Island area soon. Amazon has purchased land in Honolulu to develop a distribution center.

Amazon now owns the 14-acre stretch of land on Auiki Street, and it’s worth more than $76 million. The company says this investment will help with future network needs.

According to The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, a global brand coming to Hawaii means more commerce, economic activity and jobs.

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii hopes to work with Amazon to get more local businesses involved.

“We want to ensure that the opportunities that do present our small business community, that they understand how this whole e-commerce process works for Amazon,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. “And that they’re prepared for this kind of opportunity when it is ready to open.”

For small, locally owned business like Sweet Enemy Clothing, having more access to Amazon’s platform will be a game changer.

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“As a small business in Hawaii, we’re kind of off the map so being able to be on such a large global platform it’ll help all of us grow at a faster rate in an easier way,” said Drew Honda, Sweet Enemy Clothing owner.

The new facility has already opened up employment for local residents.

“I know that they’ve been flying aircraft into Hawaii and they’ve actually hired, whether as contractors or employees,” said Marie Kumabe, owner of Kumabe HR. “A lot of the really seasoned airplane mechanics that were impacted by airlines doing early retirements during COVID-19.”

A single fulfillment center can staff up to 1,000 workers who pick, pack, and ship bulky items. Experts say a Hawaii location will also offer other jobs like construction, warehouse, and delivery positions.

So far, no details on when the Amazon distribution site will open in Hawaii.

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