SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Amazon is opening a fulfillment center in Sioux Falls, S.D., the giant online retailer confirmed Friday, Dec. 18.

Amazon plans to open the 640,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in 2022 and employ 1,000 full-time workers.

"Employees will work alongside Amazon robotics to pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys," the company said in its announcement.

The huge fulfillment center, now under construction in the Foundation Park industrial development, has been perhaps Sioux Falls' worst-kept business secret for months.

KELO-TV broke news in early August of the ownership of the building bound for a large plot of land in the industrial park at the intersection of Interstates 29 and 90 on the northwest edge of the city, under the builders' code name for the construction, "Project Stampede."

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Amazon confirmed it had purchased the land where its fulfillment center will be built in October, but remained coy about its building plans. Now, it's an open secret no more.

“We are proud to have been selected by Amazon as their next fulfillment center location. Amazon’s decision to invest in our community reflects the company’s confidence in Sioux Falls’ economic climate and excellent workforce," Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said in a news release. "The team at Amazon has been incredible to work with, and we are excited to welcome them to Sioux Falls and to help make this partnership a win-win for many years to come.”

It's not the only Amazon fulfillment center under construction along the Interstate 29 corridor, both being built by Minneapolis-based developer Ryan Companies.

Developers and North Dakota officials on Oct. 30 confirmed a huge facility under construction in Fargo near Hector International Airport would be an Amazon distribution warehouse that would employ 500 full-time workers. That center is expected to open next year.

Amazon paid $7 million for an 80-acre plot on which its Sioux Falls center will be based, the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls reported last month. The newspaper also reported the online retail giant will join state and city leaders in requesting $1.9 million in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to pay for utility and infrastructure improvements at the industrial park.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to welcome Amazon to the Sioux Falls business community," said Todd Ernst, board chair for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. "Our commitment to business growth in the region is apparent, and Amazon will be a vital player in our continued efforts to build the economy of Sioux Falls and leverage the attractive power of Foundation Park.”

Amazon's minimum starting wage for workers at the fulfillment center is $15 per hour and include benefits for full-time employees.

“We are thrilled to be opening our first fulfillment center in the great state of South Dakota and bringing 1,000 full-time jobs with industry-leading pay and benefits to Sioux Falls," said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment. "We appreciate the strong support from local and state leaders throughout the process, and we look forward to supporting the South Dakota community with great delivery options.”

Contact Fugleberg at jfugleberg@forumcomm, or 605-777-3357 or follow him on Twitter: @jayfug.