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Gwinnett official on ‘Project Rocket’ rumors: 1,800 jobs is 1,800 jobs

Jim Brooks, the longtime executive director of Evermore Community Improvement District, said he has no first-hand knowledge about who’s proposing to build a massive distribution center on the far western edge of Gwinnett County. 

He declined Tuesday to specifically address rumors that the mysteriously named “Project Rocket” could, in fact, be the future home of roughly a 2.5-million-square-foot fulfillment center for e-commerce giant Amazon — and something like 1,800 employees.

But ...

“You have to think, if you get that kind of building and you get that kind of number of jobs, that’s what drives the economy,” said Brooks, whose CID represents business owners up and down the U.S. 78 corridor, from Snellville to the DeKalb County line. 

“The name of who it is is far less relevant to me than the end product, the end result of what it’s gonna be. We get those kind of jobs down there, anywhere in the county, and anywhere in this region, it’s significant.”

To be clear, a specific number of jobs has not been provided for the code-named project that would be built on the 2100 block of West Park Place Boulevard, on a wooded lot south of U.S. 78 and inside the CID’s boundaries. But plans submitted to the county and to the state call for around 1,800 employee parking spaces and more than 200 truck spaces. 

Anywhere near 1,800 jobs would make whoever’s behind “Project Rocket” one of Gwinnett County’s largest private employers.

County officials and other people tied to the project have remained mum on the site’s possible future tenant. 

The Amazon rumors come from reports that the retailer has been searching for a site to build a new Atlanta-area fulfillment center, where workers pack and ship customer orders. 

Atlanta is also among 20 cities named earlier this year to the “short list” for Amazon’s much-sought-after second headquarters, though a new fulfillment center may not provide indication one way or another regarding that competition.

The “Project Rocket” documents submitted this month to Gwinnett County’s planning commission ask for a zoning variance that would allow the construction of an 80-foot-tall building. The maximum building height allowed under the property’s current “light industrial” zoning classification is 45 feet.

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