COCOA, Fla. – When Amazon opens new delivery stations in Cocoa — and potentially Melbourne — expect big changes for customers, local retailers and mom-and-pop shops, News 6 partner Florida Today reports.
“When the Space Coast gets Prime Now and two-hour delivery, customers can expect to get instant gratification,” said Ben Gordon, a West Palm Beach expert in logistics and supply-chain technology.
“For some orders, shoppers will receive their purchases on the same day, and possibly within two hours. This is more likely for everyday staples, and high-volume/fast-moving goods like food, toothpaste, toilet paper and towels,” Gordon said.
However, Gordon predicts the impact on existing Brevard County businesses “is likely to be dramatic.”
“It will continue to put pressure on local shopkeepers to find ways to compete against Amazon. They won’t be able to compete on convenience. And their price is unlikely to be lower,” Gordon said.
“So it will continue to accelerate the transfer of value from local businesses to e-commerce giants,” he said.
Tuesday morning, Cocoa City Hall officials confirmed that the secretive “Project Sunshine” — a proposed 202,044-square-foot distribution building off Grissom Parkway — is an Amazon facility expected to open by year’s end.
Packages will be shipped to the Cocoa station from neighboring Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, then loaded into vehicles for final delivery to customers. The delivery station will create hundreds of full- and part-time jobs with $15 hourly starting wages.
“The addition of Amazon to the Cocoa community brings a much-needed boost to our local economy that is in need of a recharge after a year of shutdowns and losses due to the worldwide pandemic,” Cocoa Mayor Michael Blake said in a news release.
“This facility will bring much-needed jobs to our residents and enhance the overall tax base for our city, benefiting all of the Cocoa community. I thank them for choosing Cocoa and look forward to having them as an economic driver and community partner for many years to come,” Blake said.
To the south, Amazon officials discussed the secretive “Project Sonic” with a team of Melbourne City Hall officials during an October Zoom meeting, email records show.
The mystery project: a smaller 141,360-square-foot distribution center off West Eau Gallie Boulevard with a charging yard for 737 electric vans.
The Melbourne City Council approved a site plan for the facility in December. The “yet-undisclosed” company hopes to break ground during the first quarter, a project engineer previously told FLORIDA TODAY.
During the December meeting, Clayton Thompson, a development manager on the project, told City Council members, “we actually are working in Cocoa — and Palm Bay is in the future.”
Florida Prime Now cities include Destin, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee and West Palm Beach.
“Amazon is driving the shift from next-week to next-day to same-day e-commerce. In order to compress the time from ‘click’ to ‘receive,’ Amazon is building out a network of last-mile delivery facilities,” Gordon said.
“These facilities are stocked with high-volume goods for instant pick, pack and ship,” he said.
Amazon has more than 150 last-mile delivery stations across the United States.
“We are excited to continue to invest in Florida with a new delivery station in Cocoa that will create hundreds of new job opportunities and provide faster and more efficient delivery for customers,” Amazon spokesperson Owen Torres said in the news release.
“We look forward to continuing our growth in Florida, and want to thank local and state leaders for their support in making this project possible,” Torres said.
Cocoa City Council Member Rip Dyal praised the future facility.
“I am pleased to see that Amazon has chosen Cocoa to locate its fulfillment center. Its central location, with easy access to the major highways, makes it the ideal location for this rapidly growing sector,” Dyal said in the news release.
“Cocoa’s District 3 is poised to welcome this major employer to our community and the improvements they will bring to our local economy and employment base,” Dyal said.