A major e-commerce operation is slated for an underutilized Bronx warehouse.
Approximately 200,000 square feet of warehouse space that had previously been used by a carpet and furniture outlet at 1055 Bronx River Avenue has been leased to an e-commerce company.
The property in Soundview has been redeveloped, said a spokesman for Prologis, the owner which, according to published reports, purchased the vacant building adjacent to the Bronx River from ABC Carpet and Home for $28 million in 2017.
The spokesman said that it had been leased to an e-commerce company, but did not specify which one.
However, published reports indicated that the property was leased to jet.com, a subsidiary of Walmart. Walmart did not comment by press time.
Marlene Cintron, Bronx Overall Economic Development president, said she believes the reported use would increase job opportunities in the Bronx.
“If I were going to compare the two, ABC versus what the current intent is, if anything I think this particular intent would create many more jobs than its predecessor,” said Cintron.
Driving jobs are typically relatively lucrative positions that provide good incomes and propel many families towards home ownership in the future, she said.
The siting is indication that the borough is strategically positioned with great access to roadways, said Cintron, a fact that is not lost on the trucking companies already in the borough.
This would be the first property dedicated for e-commerce in the borough, she said, though there are other borough businesses that have ties to e-commerce.
Related to e-commerce is UPS, which has a number of borough locations and provides delivery services to e-commerce companies, she said.
William Rivera, Community Board 9 district manager, said that he believes the project would be as-of-right, and that it would be a plus to see the large, vacant site occupied.
“We have a number of unutilized properties and buildings in our district, and no one wants that,” said Rivera. “If it something that is not going to affect the quality-of-life, is going to be creating jobs and will bring resources to the area, we are all open arms for that.”
The district manager said that typically when large-scale projects come to the area, the developer first meets with the borough president’s office and BOEDC and then with local elected officials and the community board.
Rivera said he predicts that other former manufacturing sites will be repurposed for e-commerce.
The DM noted that just beyond CB 9’s borders, at the site of the former Whitestone Multiplex Cinema in Community Board 10 at the Bruckner Interchange, an 840,000 square foot e-commerce project is slated for development.
“I guess (e-commerce) is the wave of the future,” said Rivera. “The manufacturing world is not what it is was a long time ago, and I suppose this is an example of what is replacing it: e-commerce, which is the future of shopping.”
Rivera said the site is a good place for an e-commerce distribution center because it is in an industrial area and not in a residential area, and he noted that the site has ample room for employee parking.
In contrast, the community is strongly opposing the oversaturation of storage facilities at former industrial sites, in part because they create relatively fewer jobs than other types of businesses, said Rivera.