Amazon continued its expansion in Colorado Springs last week by paying $9.1 million to buy the former Western Forge manufacturing plant, where the online giant plans to build a second local delivery station.
The company plans to demolish the former hand tool manufacturing complex at 4607 Forge Road, which closed last year after more than 50 years of toolmaking, and replace it with a nearly 105,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility that Amazon calls a delivery station, according to plans filed last year with the city of Colorado Springs. The company already operates one such facility near the Colorado Springs Airport, used to make so-called "last mile" deliveries to online buyers.
The company hasn't confirmed plans for the Forge Road project; a company spokeswoman in Denver said Tuesday that Amazon doesn't comment on "rumors and speculation." The company was listed as the buyer in a deed filed in El Paso County land records.
The planned delivery station is just one of Amazon's many projects in the city. It is building a massive, five-story fulfillment center, which will be the largest building in Colorado Springs and one of the largest in the state, to ship customer orders for books, electronics, toys and other smaller items to the Springs area, across Colorado and to surrounding states. The 3.7 million-square-foot complex will employ more than 1,000 people and is scheduled to open this summer.
Amazon also signed a lease last month for a 278,670-square-foot "sortation center" Suncap Property Group is building near the fulfillment center in the airport's Peak Innovation Park. Sortation centers are a key part of Amazon's package delivery network, routing packages from fulfillment centers to one of its delivery stations or a Whole Foods Market grocery, owned by Amazon, that is closest to the customer.
Amazon also is planning a third delivery station in a former Sam's Club warehouse store at 715 S. Academy Blvd., according to plans filed with the city last year. Construction began in January to demolish some of the interior walls of the building as well as repave the parking lot and make other improvements to the site.
Amazon announced last week it hired more than 5,500 employees last year in Colorado to expand its workforce in the state to 16,600 at four fulfillment and sortation centers, four delivery stations, a tech hub, an air gateway, a 4-Star store, an Amazon Books store, a Prime Now hub, two onsite solar facilities and 19 Whole Foods Market stores. The company said in a news release that it has invested more than $2.8 billion in Colorado since 2010.