Amazon Prime Day

A package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery on a UPS truck in New York in this May 2017 file photo. 

The developer of a sizable package-delivery hub near Elizabethtown refuses to identify its tenant.

But recently, one of the biggest retailers in the world began placing help-wanted advertisements, under its name, for “Delivery Service Partners” in The Elizabethtown Advocate and LNP.

Hmmm, that could be a clue.

And that same retailer recently began running ads, again under its name, on job-search websites seeking people to work at 10 Industrial Road — the address of the developer’s building near Elizabethtown.

Hmmm, that could be a really strong clue.

So who’s placing those ads?

Amazon.

An Amazon spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the company’s involvement in the Elizabethtown project.

“We don’t have anything to share at this time. We can certainly let you know if that changes,” said Amazon spokesman Shone Jemmott on Monday.

Mystery firm to open package-delivery hub near E-town, create about 275 jobs

The local project is taking shape as Amazon begins an $800 million nationwide effort to make free one-day shipping the norm for its Prime subscribers, instead of the current two-day free shipping policy.

At the same time, Amazon is continuing to develop its own delivery operation to serve all of its customers, not just its Prime subscribers, reducing its use of UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.

As LNP reported Friday, a Boston-based real estate investment firm has spent $4.6 million to buy an 81,000-square-foot warehouse in the Conewago Industrial Park and intends to lease it out.

The investment firm, High Street Realty Co., is modifying the building and plans to buy a vacant 6.2-acre lot across the street, where it will create 262 spaces.

West Donegal Township supervisors approved that parking plan at their July 8 meeting. High Street has told the township that the building changes and parking lot construction will cost $5.6 million.

High Street plans to buy another 2.6 acres, also across the street, where it would create 194 more parking spaces. That proposal is being reviewed by township planners. The project cost is not known.

At the July 8 meeting, High Street’s representatives disclosed few details about the venture’s operation; the focus there was land use issues such as a buffer to shield neighbors and wetland preservation.

Attorney Meredith Ferleger and civil engineer Kestra Kelly did say 100 to 150 people would work inside the hub, sorting packages by zip code and loading them into delivery vans.

But they did not say how many drivers would be based there, what area the hub would serve or when it would began operating.

Ferleger, Kelly, High Street and the five township supervisors did not respond to LNP’s requests for comment.

Township manager John Yoder, who said the township has not been told the tenant’s identity, acknowledged that he has a hunch about it but declined to share it.

However, Heather Hohenwarter, executive director of the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce, said that not only does she know the tenant’s identity, she’s working with the tenant to help smooth its opening here.

But Hohenwarter declined to reveal its name.

In the ad, though, the name and logo are hard to miss.

Amazon is running the ad to recruit people to become contractors who’d hire the drivers. Amazon then would hire the contractors to serve the delivery routes. 

“CALLING ALL GO-GETTERS. Amazon is looking for hands-on, dedicated leaders to become Delivery Service Partners. This is an opportunity to start your own package delivery business and build a team that delivers smiles across your community,” it reads.

These contractors would oversee fleets of 20 to 40 vans, and hire and manage 40 to 100 drivers, according to the ad. The ad directs potential contractors to the Amazon website for more details.

The connection between Amazon and Elizabethtown is more explicit on job-search websites. For instance,  a search for “Amazon” and “Elizabethtown” on the website Snagajob turns up an ad placed by Amazon. It says:

“Warehouse Team Member (Seasonal, Part-Time, Full-Time, Flexible Hours) - Hiring Now!”

The ad includes the address for the warehouse: 10 Industrial Road, the address of High Street’s project.

Dan Robrish, editor of The Elizabethtown Advocate, contributed to this story.