Amazon has rented a warehouse under construction in Woodmere to make "last-mile" deliveries to customers, bringing its planned warehouse space on Long Island to more than 1.4 million square feet.
The behemoth retailer has signed a lease for JFK Logistics Center, on Rockaway Boulevard south of JFK airport, according to financial documents filed with the Nassau County clerk’s office.
The planned 235,230-square-foot warehouse would be Amazon’s second-largest in the region after a two-building complex in Melville that totals 309,500 square feet. The retailer has opened or plans to open at least nine last-mile facilities on Long Island.
The Woodmere facility "will provide efficient delivery for customers and create job opportunities with highly competitive pay [and] benefits starting on the first day of employment," Amazon spokeswoman Jenna Hilzenrath said on Tuesday. The company did not give an opening date for the warehouse.
Amazon's rapid expansion of its warehousing space in Nassau and Suffolk counties is part of a nationwide response to the explosion in online shopping and consumers’ desire for same-day delivery. The Seattle-based company wants more control over the delivery process, it said last week during an earnings conference call with investors.
The Amazon spokeswoman said on Tuesday that "more than 50 employees" will work at the Woodmere last-mile warehouse, along with an undetermined number of delivery van drivers who are employed by independent transportation companies.
Warehouse managers earn $60,000 per year and package handlers at least $15 per hour, based on Amazon’s applications for tax breaks for the Syosset and Westhampton Beach warehouses.
"The jobs it will create to distribute products throughout the region will provide opportunities for our residents and help Long Island recover from the pandemic," Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald X. Clavin Jr. said on Tuesday, referring to the Woodmere warehouse.
The three-story warehouse is going up on a former parking lot that served the airport. Delivery vans will be parked on the building’s roof and above the first-floor warehouse, an attorney for Manhattan developer Wildflower Ltd. told Hempstead officials in November.
Wildflower, whose partners include the son of actor Robert De Niro, is spending $76 million on the project. On Tuesday, managing partner Adam I. Gordon said his company is "Amazon’s most active e-commerce developer in New York City," with warehouse projects in Brooklyn and Queens.
Last year, Wildflower was awarded about $16 million in tax breaks by the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency, including $14 million off property taxes over 15 years. At the time, the IDA board didn't know about Amazon's involvement.
Earlier, the Lawrence Union Free School District filed a lawsuit against Wildflower over its application for tax breaks. An out-of-court settlement reduced the length of the breaks to 15 years from 20 years and provided a one-time payment of $250,000 to the district, attorneys for the district and Wildflower said during a IDA public hearing.
"This property as a parking lot generated minimal taxes for the town and school district," IDA CEO Frederick Parola said on Tuesday. "Now, it will be put to better use and provide tremendous economic benefits and employment opportunities. It’s incredibly exciting."
The Woodmere warehouse is part of Amazon’s drive for greater control over delivery of its packages to consumers. Last week, the company said it had increased spending on warehouses, airplanes, trucks and delivery vans by 80% in the past year.
Chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said Amazon wants to reduce its reliance on third parties, such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. What "is very helpful is the ability to control the whole flow of products from the warehouse to the end customer," he told investors. – With Laura Mann
AMAZON'S LAST-MILE FACILITIES ON LI
The warehouses are the last stop before an order reaches a customer's doorstep.
•156,000 square feet in Bethpage
•140,000 square feet in Bethpage
•103,000 square feet in Shirley-East Yaphank
•309,500 square feet in Melville
•235,230 square feet in Woodmere
•204,000 square feet in Syosset
•147,900 square feet in Holbrook
•91,000 square feet in Westhampton Beach
•55,750 square feet in Carle Place
SOURCES: Amazon; Town of Huntington; Town of Islip; Nassau County IDA; Suffolk County IDA; Hempstead Town IDA; Newsday research