A giant fulfillment center set to employ more than 1,000 people is poised to come to Goochland County.
County supervisors approved plans for a multi-story, 650,000 square-foot building on a 105-acre tract on Route 623, about a quarter mile south of Interstate 64.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin said state economic development officials are working on the deal – code-named “Project Rocky” – but that some final details are still to be worked out. He declined to say who the end-user would be.
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“It’s a significant economic development project,” said Jo Ann Hunter, Goochland deputy county administrator.
The building would have 55 loading docks for trucks and parking spaces for more than 400 truck trailers.
It would operate two shifts a day, with about 660 people in each shift, according to a traffic study commissioned by the applicant for a rezoning and land use permit, the Panattoni commercial real estate development company.
Most of the truck traffic would come between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., the traffic study said.
The Goochland facility would be smaller than Amazon’s fulfillment center in Chesterfield County, which is more than twice the size, with about 1.2 million square feet, and employs 2,200 people, a number that can rise by another 1,000 during the holiday shopping season.
Panattoni is building the first robotic fulfillment center for Amazon in the Czech Republic and has developed a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center for Amazon in Henderson, Nevada.
County records say the Goochland fulfillment center would not be the sort of facility that dispatches small trucks to make door to door deliveries, but that traffic would be limited to large trucks bringing in shipments to be sorted, which would then move out to other facilities.
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Residents living near the site have been telling county officials and board members that the truck traffic and fulfillment center employees’ vehicles would make travel along already congested Route 623 (Ashland Road) even worse.
“Ashland Road already has significant heavy truck traffic servicing the landfill and the three quarry operations accessed off Ashland Road with both tractor trailers and heavy dump trucks,” county resident Paul Anderson said in a letter to the supervisors.
He said the road already carries the worst state rating for congestion during rush hours and that the county building department has said it is concerned that heavy traffic on the road could slow the fire and rescue response to emergencies.
To ease traffic jams, the county wants to push ahead with a “diverging diamond interchange” for the Rockville exit off I-64, similar to the one that carries US 15 over I-64 at the Zion Crossroads exit.
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These use traffic lights to direct cars and trucks on roads crossing a superhighway to drive on the left hand lane, and traffic engineers say they move more traffic than traditional cloverleaf interchanges can while taking up less space.
Hunter would not say who the end-user of the building will be.