Tiny hamlet of Balzac says it’s ready for Alberta’s Amazon warehouse


A southern Alberta hamlet says it’s ready to accommodate probably 1000’s of new employees becoming a member of an Amazon delivery depot beneath development.

The web commerce large has opened functions for 1,000 jobs at its soon-to-open facility in Balzac, simply north of Calgary, previous the airport and earlier than Airdrie. The reeve of Rocky View County says he understands the power, often called a fulfilment centre, might make use of as much as 3,000 individuals when working at full capability.

“We created jobs by way of the development section, by way of the implementation section after which the operational section,” Reeve Greg Boehlke advised the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday. “And hopefully it will deliver spinoff enterprise that involves the world, as effectively.”

Balzac itself is so small, its inhabitants is not tracked by Statistics Canada. The unincorporated hamlet is in Rocky View County, residence to simply beneath 40,000 individuals, based on the 2016 census, they usually’re unfold throughout nearly 4,000 sq. kilometres.

The 600,000-square-foot Amazon facility, which can course of orders from Western Canada, joins a league of giant companies — CrossIron Mills mall, Costco, the soon-to-open New Horizon Mall and others — within the industrial district on the east facet of Freeway 2 in Balzac.

Most of the hamlet is to the west of the freeway and consists of a fuel station, a Fifties-style diner, group centre, hearth corridor and some different companies.

Bonnie McDougall, who owns the Balzac Diner, says she thinks just one man lives within the hamlet’s centre. Others concerned locally stay close by in rural areas, Airdrie or, like she does, a brief drive away in northwest Calgary.

The Balzac Diner is one of a handful of companies to the west of Freeway 2 within the hamlet. The others are within the industrial district to the east, the place the brand new Amazon warehouse is being constructed. (Balzac Diner web site)

The world has gotten busier lately with the event east of the freeway, she mentioned. Some companies direct their employees to her for lunch however she’s hoping to see much more individuals crossing the highway after Amazon opens.

“We’re type of somewhat hidden gem,” MacDougall mentioned. “We’re beginning to see extra individuals. Simply the amount of automobiles that go by our restaurant and fuel station is growing as a result of of improvement within the space.”

Amazon’s warehouse is all constructive, MacDougall mentioned, with the one detrimental being doable visitors delays.

Hear extra from the reeve about how Amazon might put Balzac on the map:

Rocky View County Reeve Greg Boehlke tells us what Amazon’s large new facility in Balzac will imply for jobs and infrastructure within the space. 6:37

The county is enhancing transportation locally to accommodate the employees, who will probably be driving or taking the bus to work, the reeve mentioned.

They plan so as to add a bus cease for Airdrie Transit by the warehouse, Boehlke mentioned, they usually’re discussing easy methods to enhance freeway visitors stream.

“Balzac is a really small half of our inhabitants, and at 40,000 individuals, we most likely aren’t going to be the main supply of employment,” he mentioned. “It will be most likely the Metropolis of Calgary and Airdrie and the encircling space.”

Boehlke expects the county to profit from the property taxes Amazon can pay. The county doesn’t accumulate a enterprise tax.

“That is precisely what we might like, and so it’s a increase for us,” he mentioned.

With recordsdata from the Calgary Eyeopener.




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