Project Bronco

A rendering shows an 850,000-square-foot distribution warehouse proposed for "Project Bronco" in Nampa. Amazon confirmed Thursday, Oct. 10, that it would open its first fulfillment center in Idaho at the site, to be 650,000 square feet and completed in 2020.

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NAMPA — The Nampa Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to grant a conditional use permit for a 850,000-square-foot warehouse distribution center planned in northern Nampa during a public hearing, Tuesday.

“Project Bronco” is planned for 111 acres on the southwest corner of East Franklin Road and Star Road in northeast Nampa, near the Ford Idaho Center and the Sorrento Lactalis cheese factory. Deborah Nelson, representing the applicant, said the developer is looking to invest a minimum of $130 million into the facility.

Brent Collins, with the developer Panattoni Development Company, said if approved, construction is expected to take about 13 months, with the warehouse expected to be operational in late 2019.

Though the applicant has not confirmed that an Amazon distribution center is planned as the project, the bottom of the application listed the project name as “PREDEV — Amazon BTS.” Panattoni Development Company, a California-based company, has built several Amazon BTS distribution buildings in the U.S. and Europe.

At a Nampa Building and Site Design Committee meeting Monday, Jim Terry with Ware Malcomb architectural firm said the warehouse’s function is a distribution center, mostly for smaller packages. He said the warehouse will use heavy automation to transport the packages, some of which will feature lasers that can read barcodes.

Nelson said the developer expects the project to employ at least 2,000 people. Economic Development Director Beth Ineck said in a report for the project that the development could become one of the largest employers for the city, and is expected to generate more than $1 million a year in tax revenue.

Commissioner Steve Kehoe expressed concern that the size of the development will have a negative impact on traffic in the area. Nelson said a large and comprehensive traffic impact study is being conducted around the project, but it is not complete yet.

Nelson said delaying approval for the project is problematic for the development. She said the peak business time for the warehouse is expected to be during the holiday season, and the development scheduled to be completed around that season, taking into account the period for construction and hiring and training the approximately 2,000 employees.

Erin Bamer is the city of Nampa reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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