When Hazelwood faced the loss of 1,400 good-paying manufacturing jobs from a closing Ford assembly plant, the suburb in north St. Louis County wasted little time laying the groundwork to attract new employers.
It sought state tax credits to help pay for the site’s cleanup, lobbied lawmakers for the ability to pass an economic development sales tax and put together a generous package of property tax abatement and forgivable loans.
It took almost a decade after the last Explorer rolled off the assembly line in 2006, but in the last couple of years, the effort has started to show results. In a changing economy increasingly focused on quick delivery for e-commerce orders, logistics and distribution companies have filled new warehouses built at a rapid clip in Hazelwood business parks.
The most recent announcement came from the world’s largest e-commerce company, Amazon.com, which confirmed it had signed leases for two facilities that would be the company’s first in Missouri. Hazelwood officials anticipate Amazon.com will add about 350 part-time jobs and 35 full-time jobs to the Hazelwood Logistics Park, bringing employment in the park to about 1,200 by year end.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch