Amazon

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/29/13, 11:01 AM PDT | Updated: 13 hrs ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> Tuesday’s “grand opening” of Amazon came a year after it actually shipped its first package — and after it doubled its employment to 1,400 people — but the timing positioned it as a sign of other blossoming developments in a beleaguered area.

Just before Gov. Jerry Brown and state and local lawmakers entered the room to celebrate the million-square-foot distribution center outside the former Norton Air Force Base, Amazon announced that it’s finalizing plans to open a 1.2-mllion-square foot distribution center in Moreno Valley.

And other large developments have come to San Bernardino as part of redevelopment programs that — as Mayor Pat Morris pointedly noted — no longer exist in the same form.

“We still need you,” Morris told Brown. “This city still has a 14.5 percent unemployment rate.”

Expanding on County Supervisor Josie Gonzales’ request that San Bernardino be one of the five pilot sites for a new version of the enterprise zone, Morris made a request of his own.

Morris noted that he was standing almost exactly on the tee of the golf course that used to be outside the base until it closed and took 15,000 jobs with it — 9,000 of which have been replaced, he said. Then he handed Brown a driver with the name of the governor’s office of business and economic development program — “Go-Biz.”

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