BELOIT — The Amazon fulfillment center in Beloit is now open after just eight months of construction on the 1 million-square-foot facility in the Gateway Business Park, as major economic development projects in the city continue despite COVID-19 disruption.
Hiring at the facility remains ongoing, even as the company has brought on more than 500 full-time workers.
The first day employees were welcomed at the site was Aug. 16. Workers pack and ship large items including sports equipment, patio furniture, fishing rods, pet food, bicycles and larger household goods.
“We are thrilled to officially open our doors at our new fulfillment center in Beloit, Wisconsin,” said Amazon Beloit Site Manager Jason Berg. “We have an incredible staff on board, and we’re excited to be offering industry leading jobs with comprehensive benefits.”
Amazon says it has invested in safety measures at the new Beloit facility including safety supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, thermal cameras, sanitizing wipes, gloves, and adding disinfectant spraying in buildings, along with deploying team members to perform safety related tasks and audits, from “social distancing ambassadors” to team members helping with temperature checks.
From 2010-2019, Amazon has invested more than $4.1 billion in Wisconsin.
“We are thrilled that construction and development projects have been moving forward at a record pace, even despite any impacts from the response to COVID-19,” said Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther. “Having companies like Amazon who chose to develop in Beloit is a game changer for our community; we certainly welcome Amazon and the 500-plus full-time jobs to our city.”
Below are a selection of other major projects currently underway in Beloit:
Work continues at the Beloit headquarters of NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, 1800 Gateway Boulevard, on a new electron accelerator production building to expand capacity of the company’s non-uranium domestic supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). The $34 million accelerator project coincides with the isotope processing facility that saw construction in 2019. The processing facility, built directly next to the in-progress accelerator building, will help the company avoid shipping delays between irradiation and processing of Mo-99.
In 2018, the company announced plans for construction of a four-story office office building at the corner of White Avenue and Prince Hall Drive. The 132,000 square-foot building is expected to house 270 to 300 employees initially and could house up to 600 staff once the build out is complete. The $30.5 million project is expected to be completed this summer.
Lyons TRU to Nature
Following its acquisition of Tru Aseptics in Beloit, Lyons Magnus announced plans for a 62,000 square-foot building expansion for blending, processing and filling products associated with fruit and flavor solutions for various industries. Total capital investment in Beloit is estimated at $70 million and construction is underway on the addition and renovation of the former Allied Games building.
Construction on a 3,500-seat downtown stadium in Beloit along Shirland Avenue adjacent to the Rock River began in June and the $32 million project is expected to open next summer. The stadium will feature a grandstand with administrative offices and player facilities, concessions and restrooms and a 300-plus-person stadium club that can be used for year-round events. The main concourse will circle the field and will feature a main entry gate at center field. Outdoor group areas will be located in left field and right field with a kids playground and inflatable area planned for the outfield concourse.
The Beloit College redevelopment of the former Blackhawk Power Generating Station along the Rock River is expected to be complete this fall, with the college dedicating the first section of the facility in February. The $38 million project completely overhauled the former power station to include a student union and resource center includes flexible meeting spaces, a complete fitness/wellness center, food service, indoor field house, and a lecture hall/movie theater.
Construction to transform the former Angel Museum property along the Rock River is expected to start this month and initial work could see Visit Beloit staff relocate from their temporary Eclipse Center location to the permanent home by the end of the year, according to Visit Beloit Executive Director Celestino Ruffini. Renovations to the historic future home of Visit Beloit are “imminent,” Ruffini said, as he is poised to sign a construction contract worth $852,500 to jumpstart a 120-day work timeline.