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Leaders hope Amazon Fulfillment Center will continue local positive economy momentum

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - Geiger Boulevard started its big transformation on Tuesday. Get ready for lots of changes. Spokane County and Washington State Department of Transportation broke ground Tuesday morning to improve the road for all the expected Amazon fulfillment center traffic.

Amazon, still has several things on the to-do list before they're up and running. Improving Geiger Boulevard to make traffic smoother is one of them. When construction finishes, the fulfillment center will create thousands of new jobs.

When we talk about changes for this area. We're not just talking about a new building or traffic changes. The big picture is how all of this is improving the lifestyle of people in eastern Washington and making new opportunities for generations to come.

It's all about a vision one this group of local leaders all share. 

"This is the place that we want our young people to go to that great university or college, raise their families, start their business, and enjoy the great quality of life here," said Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

For the longest time, eastern Washington has been seen as an underdog in the state. A younger sibling to Seattle.

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers said because of that, people thought they'd have to move to start their career - somewhere bigger and better. But that's all changing.

"Young people will no longer have to feel like they have to leave eastern Washington to find that good-paying job," Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers said.

It's partly because of Amazon.

"We're very excited to come to Spokane," said Tom Florino, senior manager of economics for Amazon.

The four-story, 2.6-million square foot building is on its way to becoming the first Amazon fulfillment center on this side of the state.

"We really like to be a catalyst for economic development and empowerment," Florino said.

The fulfillment center will provide more than 3,000 jobs for our area.

"Those also come with full benefits on day one. The same benefits that I receive and anyone else that works in corporate headquarters," Florino said.

Those jobs are also welcoming new faces to the Inland Northwest. New housing developments will open doors for nearly 1,500 new people.

"Our announcement has led to other projects and other pipeline announcements. That's great, that's exactly what we want to have happen in a community," Florino said.

A community slowly molding into the same vision local leaders share.

"This is all building part of a stronger community that's going to attract and retain, retain our young people - but also, attract others that want to be a part of this," Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers said.

Driving past the building, you can tell construction is really coming along. However, there is much more work to be done inside. Amazon said they don't have an offical opening date on the fulfillment center yet.

Stay with KXLY4 for the very latest. We'll tell you when jobs get posted for this center and all the other updates.


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