An architect’s rendering of the 110,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in Grimes owned by Hubbell Realty Co. An industry expert believes Amazon.com has leased the space for its delivery stations. Rendering by SVPA Architects.

Amazon.com is hiring logistics and delivery managers, all positions that would be located in Grimes, according to the online retail giant’s website.

The jobs are associated with positions at Amazon delivery stations that handle the last leg of a shipment to customers, according to job descriptions on the retailer’s website.

“They are definitely preparing for a delivery station,” Marc Wulfraat, president of MWPVL  International Inc., told the Business Record. The Quebec, Canada-based MWPVL is a supply chain, logistics and distribution consulting firm that has done extensive research on Amazon and its distribution network.

Wulfraat said he expects the company to open a delivery station in Grimes by early December, if not sooner.

An Amazon spokesperson responded to a request for comment by writing in an email that “We don’t have any information to share at this time.”

Amazon also is likely building a 780,000-square-foot fulfillment center on a site in Bondurant located east of U.S. Highway 65 and north of Northeast 62nd Avenue. While the retailer has not confirmed that it is behind the project, a development firm it has worked with in the past recently bought 169 acres at the site for $6.7 million.

The Bondurant City Council in September approved a site plan for the $250 million project that includes a five-story, 780,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution/fulfillment center and more than 2,000 parking spaces. The project, with specs that are like those of other fulfillment centers built by Amazon, is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs, most of which will pay $15 an hour. 

Amazon often opens delivery stations near its fulfillment centers, Wulfraat said. 

For example, Amazon this summer opened a fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio, about 30 miles south of Dayton, according to the Dayton Business Journal. About two months later, Amazon opened a delivery station in nearby Kettering, Ohio.

Amazon currently has more than 150 delivery stations in the U.S., according to data compiled by MWPVL. The stations are typically located in spaces that are between 85,000 and 120,000 square feet.

Hubbell Realty Co. in August sought approval from the Grimes City Council for additional parking around its Grimes Distribution #5 facility, located at 1301 S.E. Gateway Drive. Hubbell representatives told the council the firm’s tenant needed 800 parking spaces. The council approved the additional parking.

Minutes from the August meeting indicate the city is conducting a study on how the tenant’s business would affect traffic.

City Administrator Jake Anderson declined to comment. 

Claire Brehmer, Hubbell spokeswoman, also declined to comment. “We have nothing to share at this time,” she said. Asked about whether space in the 110,000-square-foot building had been leased, Brehmer said she couldn’t comment.

Hubbell began construction on the $8 million facility about a year ago. The building, with 32-foot clear height ceilings, is adjacent to Iowa Highway 141. Construction of the facility was expected to be completed by this fall. 

Wulfraat said that many Amazon delivery stations hire about 200 people to work in the warehouse and another 300 people to drive the company’s black delivery vans that can be identified by a blue swooping arrow. 

Delivery stations handle an average of 40,000 packages a day to be delivered within a 30- to 50-mile radius, Wulfraat said. The packages are delivered to the station from either a regional sorting center or trucked there from a nearby airport. 

Amazon “is putting these buildings up so that they are positioned in the heart of an area where all the demand is,” Wulfraat said. 

About two years ago, Amazon ramped up its delivery service as it moved toward providing next-day deliveries. “They want to provide next-day service for Amazon Prime customers,” Wulfraat said. “The post office cannot give them that, so [Amazon] is doing it itself.”

Wulfraat said Amazon plans to open a delivery station in Iowa City yet this year and has a small station in North Liberty. According to Amazon’s job listings, it is hiring people to work in both communities.