GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) - Officials announced Friday at a press conference that an Amazon fulfillment center is coming to Garner and will employ 1,500 people.
The distribution center will be built at the old ConAgra site. The business shut down after an explosion at the plant in 2009 killed three employees and injured dozens more.
State officials announced that the new facility will be a four-story, 2.6 million square foot distribution center.
Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams hailed the announcement as a game-changer for the Town.
"This is a historic day for Garner. Today will be remembered as the day that Garner entered a new era of prosperity and opportunity," he said. "Amazon's selection of this site is an important milestone for our town to move forward after the ConAgra tragedy."
Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said that the new investment at the site will help the Town move closer to a 50-50 balance of commercial and residential tax base.
"As a result of this major new investment in our community, our citizens will have to should less of the tax burden in the years ahead," he said.
On July 2, the Garner Town Council voted unanimously to approve a special-use permit request by a development company out of Texas to develop nearly 88 acres of the approximately 98-acre tract, according to a press release. The building will have a footprint of 680,000 square feet.
Work is already underway on the building.
Neighbors told CBS 17 that construction on the project began at the site about a month ago.
Those who live in the area say they're excited about jobs returning to the town, but some feel they were left in the dark about the project. Some said the town kept the plan hidden in plain sight under the name of Project Axis.
"When I found out about the meeting it was already over with. I truly believe since we do stay on this road we should've gotten some input, especially when they're getting ready to take a lot of things from us, especially our sleep at night. You know, that's progress," said Garner resident Herman Dunn.
Officials also announced that both the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Garner would be contributing funds to make road improvements around the facility.
Garner will spend up to $600,000 on improvements and the NCDOT will contribute up to $4.5 million.
It's not clear how much the jobs will pay. Officials said at the press conference that the average salary will depend on the specific job and that all pay will be "market-based."
The distribution center is expected to open in September 2019.