Amazon lays stake in one of the fastest developing (and water starving) parts of the country, the East Valley

For many residents who are aware of our state’s water troubles, the news of a new mega-facility may not be as exciting.


Chris Watt (FLICKR)

A one million square-foot Amazon fulfilment center in Fife, Scotland – similar in size to the new Mesa facility

Marcus Reichley, Reporter

Amazon recently opened one of the largest facilities of its kind in one of the fastest-growing parts of the country, the East Valley, specifically, Mesa, Arizona.

Boasting an impressive 1.2 million square feet, this facility promises to bring over 800 job opportunities to the region. The arrival of the e-commerce giant is sure to contribute to an already rapidly developing area. 

The East Valley, centered around Mesa and encompassing fast-growing towns like Gilbert, Chandler, and Apache Junction, is on the brink of a transformative shift as it welcomes this state-of-the-art “storage and distribution center.”

The primary goal of the facility is to support independent sellers, who constitute a significant portion of Amazon’s sales. Offering reduced storage costs compared to individual warehousing, the facility addresses inventory management challenges faced by independent sellers. 

 With a focus on enhancing the convenience of online shopping, particularly for customers in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Amazon aims to streamline the process by storing 3rd party products in this new mega-facility. 

Approximately 10,000 independent sellers in Arizona are utilizing Amazon’s platform, so the new Mesa facility presents a substantial opportunity for local entrepreneurs looking to sell their products.


News of the new Amazon mega-facility brings mixed reactions from the community 


Positioned along Elliot and Hawes roads, just a few blocks away from Mesa-Phoenix Gateway airport, the facility serves as a testament to the growing area and Amazons commitment to Arizona. 

The 800-plus available job positions range from hourly warehouse roles to managerial positions. Depending on experience and shift schedules, wages for these jobs range from $15 to $21 per hour.

 The creation of these employment opportunities has garnered attention from residents in neighboring areas such as Mesa, Apache Junction, and Florence, who are hopeful for shorter commutes and an improved work-life balance.

A report from the AZ Republic recently found that three in four working Mesa residents commute outside the city for their jobs. 

But among the excitement of growth lies an equally powerful feeling of anxiety, as the addition of the Mesa facility contributes to a more existential problem, the lack of water supply our state is facing following nonstop expansion

A recent study conducted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources found that groundwater supply will not be enough to cover predicted demand across the Phoenix metropolitan area within the next 100 years. 

Northeast Valley News spoke to local residents about how they feel about the new warehouse and the changes they’ve seen in their communities. 

“I think it’s a great job opportunity for some people, I think this whole area is going to look so different in the future.” said Mesa resident Jennifer Rodriguez

For many in the East Valley, it is apparent that the rapid development is not slowing anytime soon.

“In my area, everything is changing so fast. Ask anyone and they will tell you about the old Apache Junction, it’s much bigger now, it’s not what people think.” said Apache Junction resident Laura Ruiz 

Amazon already boasts a significant presence in the Phoenix metropolitan area, employing over 33,000 individuals across various roles. The company operates multiple “fulfillment and sortation centers” and “delivery stations” throughout the state. 

Amazon has not made clear how the recent news of a future water shortage will affect their future plans in Arizona.