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North Hempstead board OKs Amazon site plan for distribution center

Online retailing giant Amazon plans to convert the

Online retailing giant Amazon plans to convert the former Waldbaum's supermarket on Westbury Avenue in Carle Place into a distribution center. Credit: Charles Eckert

North Hempstead Town officials have approved the site plan of an Amazon project to turn a long-closed grocery store in Carle Place into a last-mile delivery station.

The town board voted 7-0 Thursday night in a virtual meeting to greenlight the online retailing giant’s plan to convert the former Waldbaum’s supermarket at 2 Westbury Ave. into a distribution center, which functions as the last place packages go to before they are delivered to customers’ doorsteps.

While many welcomed the news of upgrading the blighted property, community members were concerned about the facility’s impact on local traffic and streets, primarily that delivery vans would cut through residential neighborhoods.

At a public hearing before the board voted, Councilwoman Viviana Russell, who represents the hamlet, asked Amazon representatives how the company would handle delivery routes.

“Any of the vans that would typically be in that area are making deliveries to that area,” said Brad Griggs, a senior manager of economic development at Amazon. “If not, they are utilizing the major roadways as the most efficient [means] to get to their external delivery points.”

Truck traffic, Griggs said, would be limited to a seven-hour window from midnight to 7 a.m. The company anticipates about a dozen 18-wheel tractor trailers to go in the facility per day. Local deliveries in vans would be made in waves during daytime.

The 7.4-acre commercial site is owned by Brisbane-Steel Carle Place LLC, which made the application to the town.

Amazon already has two other facilities in Nassau: 201 Grumman Rd. West and 80 Grumman Rd. West, both in Bethpage and both owned by developer Steel Equities of Bethpage.

When asked by Russell about the company’s plan for community investment such as job training or employment opportunities, Griggs said Amazon wants to hire as many residents as possible. He didn’t specify the number of workers needed at the facility or a timeline for hiring.

“We want to partner with the supervisor, with you, Councilwoman Russell, and with the Carle Place community, on hosting events in the area to allow for the residents in the area to be part of the first key wave of associates and managers hired at this facility,” Griggs said.

Operations are expected to begin in late 2020, said Amazon spokeswoman Emily Hawkins. Another delivery station on 100 Precision Dr. in Shirley is expected to launch in September, she said, adding that leases have been signed for both locations.

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