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Amazon picks Trenton area for 1st NJ warehouse

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (AP) -- Amazon.com, the world's biggest online retailer, said Tuesday that it has picked a site just outside Trenton for a planned distribution center that's expected to create hundreds of jobs.

Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship items for customers at the 1-million-square-foot center in Robbinsville, which the company plans to occupy in early 2014.

As part of a deal with the state announced last year, the retailer will be eligible for state economic assistance grants totaling millions of dollars on its investment, which is expected to exceed $200 million.

Amazon.com Inc., in turn, agreed to collect 7 percent sales tax on purchases made in New Jersey starting in July 2013. Officials estimated that would bring the state an estimated $30 million to $40 million a year in new revenue.

The company said last year that it would build two warehouses in New Jersey. A company spokeswoman, Kelly Cheeseman, said Tuesday that the company does not yet have a timetable for the second project.

The Seattle-based retailer made the announcement in a joint statement with Gov. Chris Christie on the day of his State of the State address.

The governor has faced criticism over the slow pace of the economic recovery in New Jersey, including the state's high unemployment rate, which at 9.6 percent in November remained nearly 2 percentage points higher than the national rate.

Christie said the company's decision "represents the strength of our successful partnership with Amazon" and will result in the creation of both full-time jobs and temporary seasonal and construction jobs.

KTR Capital Partners, a private equity firm, is building the center with Amazon, the company said.