An Internet e-commerce behemoth has decided to open its first facility in the borough.
Amazon, the colossal online retailer and cloud-based computing company, has leased a 120,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Hunts Point and plans to develop a ‘last-mile’ delivery station, the company has confirmed.
Such stations allow e-commerce companies to ship packages quickly to its customers after initial sorting at larger facilities, often as large a million square feet, that contain many of the items companies like Amazon sell, said a source at Amazon who spoke to the Bronx Times.
The Amazon source said it is the company’s first delivery station in the Bronx.
“We are excited to continue our investment in New York to speed up delivery times for customers and provide great job opportunities for the talented workforce,” read a statement from Amazon.
The facility, which will open sometime before the end of 2019, will occupy the complex at 1300 Viele Avenue in Hunts Point.
Amazon, a Fortune 10 company that recently announced that its second headquarters would site in both New York City at Long Island City and in Washington D.C., is part of a growing list of ‘last-mile’ facilities that are or may lease space in the borough.
Jet.com, an e-commerce company owned by Walmart, leased a 200,000 square foot warehouse on Bronx River Avenue at the former home to ABC Carpet in 2018, as previously reported.
Additionally, Innovo Property Group and Square Mile Capital purchased the former site of Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas at 2505 Bruckner Boulevard in 2018 with plans to develop a multi level 840,000 square foot facility for ‘last mile’ deliveries.
A Modell’s Sporting Goods distribution center on Bassett Avenue is being marketed for an e-commerce last-mile distribution center, according to another published report.
MRP Realty and AEW Capital Management recently purchased the warehouse leased by Amazon for its delivery station on Viele Avenue, along with a sister warehouse at 1301 Ryawa Avenue, for $26 million dollars.
The source at Amazon said that the company would be hiring associates to staff the facility, as well as employing technology it uses throughout its distribution process as it continues to innovate and invest in faster delivery.
Once a package arrives at an Amazon Delivery Station, of which there are approximately 75 throughout the country, it is sorted into routes, that in the of the case of the Hunts Point center, will be handled by drivers who are part of two programs that help Amazon deliver packages.
One of the programs is known as Delivery Service Partners, a business arrangement with small businesses that fulfill package deliveries for the company using drivers that typically work a regular weekly four to five day schedule, said the Amazon source.
The second program, known as Amazon Flex, is for independent contractors who set their own hours and can make extra cash, up to $18 to $25 an hour, delivering packages, stated the company source.
Amazon Flex allows flexibility to drivers, some of who may be stay-at-home parents with children in day care or school. It also permits the company to scale up or down its work force more easily based on consumer demand at any given time.
“These delivery stations really allow us to speed up delivery to customers by putting these facilities closer to the where the deliveries are going,” the source said.
These facilities typically generate hundreds of employment opportunities including full-time and part-time associates, independent contractors, and small-business contractors, according to Amazon.
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce’s president, Lisa Sorin, stated that while these types of facilities are not new in the borough, “this is definitely welcomed news.”
“It means more jobs, training opportunities and resources,” stated Sorin, adding “I choose to see the good in these projects.”
Sorin also stated that the traditional “brick and mortar businesses remain vital to our borough.”
Various officials with a stake in the Hunts Point community said they are still gathering preliminary information about the plan.