Earlier this year, Baltimore's City Council approved legislation making it cheaper to build large, tall warehouses here. GM, which once employed as many as 7,000 workers who assembled Chevrolet Impalas, Biscaynes and Monte Carlos and Pontiac Grand Prixs, pulled out of the assembly plant in 2005, eliminating 1,100 local jobs.
Duke bought the property, bordered by Broening Highway on the east, in 2006, converting it into the Chesapeake Commerce Center and demolishing GM's old facilities.
The property is located in the city's enterprise zone, which makes it eligible for a 10-year property tax credit and tax breaks for wages paid to new employees.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was excited about the new distribution center because of the jobs it will bring.
"The fulfillment center presents a unique industrial development opportunity due to its location to the port of Baltimore, as well as its access to the city and interstate highway system," she said. "I am proud of the city's efforts, working in partnership with the state, Duke Realty and Amazon to bring this fulfillment center and jobs to Baltimore City."
Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said the city will welcome Amazon with "open arms."
"I have focused diligently on job creation because I know that it has the ability to reverse decades of population loss and get our city growing," he said. "Today's announcement is proof that Baltimore is headed in the right direction."
Wulfraat said most of Amazon's distribution center jobs pay $11.50 to $12.50 an hour, while supervisors can earn more. The company said it offers benefits — stock awards, retirement plans and tuition for employees going back to school.
"We are proud to be bringing more than 1,000 full-time jobs with great wages and benefits to Baltimore," Mike Roth, Amazon's vice president of North America operations, said in a statement. "We are grateful to the state and local elected officials who supported Amazon coming to Maryland, and we look forward to being a part of the community."
Councilman Robert W. Curran, who voted in favor of legislation to lower construction costs for the site, said the warehouse will contribute to a "trickle-around" economic effect in Baltimore.
"It's good for that area. It's good for the city as a whole," he said. "It will boost the economy. If you have 1,000 people concentrated in one area, they want to get breakfast on their way to work. They want to have a drink in the tavern after work. They want to get gas at the gas station."