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The biggest Amazon warehouse in New England is now open in Windsor, CT

Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks (left) and Holly Sullivan, Amazon's director of worldwide economic development, greet each other during a ceremony to mark the official grand opening of Amazon third fulfillment center in Windsor. Construction on the center began spring of 2020, but was marred by the discovery of a reported four nooses. Now complete, the building covers 3.8 million square feet, is roughly the size of 66 football fields and is 5 stories high. The fulfillment center employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks (left) and Holly Sullivan, Amazon's director of worldwide economic development, greet each other during a ceremony to mark the official grand opening of Amazon's third fulfillment center in Windsor. Construction on the center began spring of 2020, but was marred by the discovery of several nooses. Now complete, the building covers 3.8 million square feet, is roughly the size of 66 football fields and is 5 stories high. The fulfillment center employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees.

State and local elected officials gathered in Windsor on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of a new Amazon warehouse.

“Thanks Amazon – I’m really glad you’re here,” Gov. Ned Lamont said at a press conference, shortly before cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

The online retail giant says its 5-story, 3.8 million-square-foot “Fulfillment Center BDL4” is its largest such facility in New England.

“That is 66 football fields,” said Gurol Butun, the warehouse’s general manager.

Amazon said the site currently employs 2,000 workers, with plans to top 3,500 by August. It’s the company’s third site in Windsor.

“When you’re part of a municipality and you use the term 'Amazon facilities' in the plural, you get taken off a lot of Christmas card lists from other mayors,” Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks joked.

Construction of the warehouse was not without controversy. Work temporarily stopped in 2021 after the discovery of multiple nooses on the job site. No arrests were ever made, according to Windsor Police Capt. Andrew Power, and the investigation is considered inactive.

Lamont on Tuesday praised the company’s character and said the nooses were “a long time ago, a one-off incident,” and that he had no related concerns moving forward.

State Sen. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, praised Amazon’s response to the discovery of the nooses.

“This building didn’t get off on a good start,” McCrory said. “We had some issues when we were trying to construct this facility, very early on.”

Amazon workers sort packages inside Amazon fulfillment center BDL 4 in Windsor, May 2, 2023. The center employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees and covers 3.8 million square feet.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
Amazon workers sort packages inside Amazon fulfillment center BDL 4 in Windsor, May 2, 2023. The center employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees and covers 3.8 million square feet.

“And I will say, honestly, that I am very happy with what we did,” McCrory said. “We were able to bring the NAACP together, minority contractors, the business community, the governor’s office, and we worked the relationship that developed to where we are today.”

“They listened,” McCrory said, referring to Amazon. “They listened to me, they listened to people from our community, and we worked things out.”

Amazon officials addressed the incident in a statement.

“We remain deeply disturbed by this incident," said Caitlin McLaughlin, an Amazon spokesperson. "Hate, racism, and discrimination have no place in our society and are not tolerated at any site associated with Amazon, whether under construction or fully operational.”

This story has been updated. Connecticut Public’s Matt Dwyer contributed to this report.

Chris Polansky joined Connecticut Public in March 2023 as a general assignment and breaking news reporter based in Hartford. Previously, he’s worked at Utah Public Radio in Logan, Utah, as a general assignment reporter; Lehigh Valley Public Media in Bethlehem, Pa., as an anchor and producer for All Things Considered; and at Public Radio Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., where he both reported and hosted Morning Edition.