JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The new Amazon.com distribution center in Johnston will open a few months later than initially planned, 12 News has learned.
The nearly 4-million-square-foot facility was originally supposed to be completed in spring 2023.
But Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena confirmed Thursday that the $290 million will now open by the end of the summer.
Polisena said supply chain issues are to blame.
“They’re having issues with the robotics … the computer chips,” he explained. “It’s like anything else.”
The town is giving the online retail giant a 20-year tax break to build the facility. In exchange, Amazon has entered into a community partnership agreement with the town.
Through that agreement, Amazon is investing in $6 million worth of upgrades to the roadways surrounding the facility. It will also contribute millions of dollars to various town initiatives.
“They’re going to give us a lot of money,” Polisena said. “We’re going to be able to stabilize our taxes and we’re going to build new schools at no cost to the taxpayers.”
The distribution center is expected to employ 1,500 full-time employees, of which Johnston residents will take precedence.
Critics have repeatedly raised concerns over increased traffic congestion, as well as both light and noise pollution from the massive warehouse.
But Polisena believes the new facility will only benefit the town in the long run.
“When they don’t have a tax increase, they’re going to be happy,” he said, referencing the residents who are complaining about the development.