Updated on Monday, November 23 to include community reaction.
Amazon is coming to town.
The e-commerce bigwig has signed a seven-year lease (with a renewal option for two additional five-year terms) at the 1.1 million square-foot Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, according to The Real Deal.
Reports say the leased space – its size still unclear – will house a brand new distribution outpost for the company.
With not many details, some residents are on the fence about the addition.
“[I’m] not sure what to say given the lack of details on the type of operation being planned,” said local resident Maria Roca, founder of Friends of Sunset Park. “[There are] so many questions.”
Some of those, she said, have to do with jobs.
“Will Amazon be hiring or just transferring employees?” she asked, going on to wonder how much more truck traffic the move represents for the area, and furthermore, if there is a direct relationship between Amazon’s arrival and the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.
Local activist Tony Giordano, administrator of the Sunset Parker Facebook page, shared similar sentiments.
“When the city began developing Liberty View, they stated very clearly that the bulk of the building would be used for manufacturing — with the promise of many good-paying jobs, and a limited amount of space would be for retail,” he said. “Properties with large amounts of retail space are easy to rent, but the city guaranteed that this site would be used to bring manufacturing back to Sunset Park.
“To hear that they are going to rent it for warehousing is a complete reversal of their policy,” he went on. “Warehousing is the worst type of rental because it uses huge amounts of space with the most limited amount of employees and means lots of truck traffic. This is an admission that the De Blasio administration is failing in its promise to bring manufacturing back to Sunset.”
Nevertheless, he said, what he’s heard of Amazon as an employer, he likes.
“The only positive note is that Amazon treats their employees very well, so the jobs, although few, will be higher paying,” he said.
Either way, it’s been a busy year for the eight-story development, located at 850 Third Avenue.
Back in January, it was announced by the developer that the building, formerly known as Federal Building No. 2, would house the popular chain Bed Bath and Beyond by 2016 on the second floor. Other additions include buy buy BABY, Cost Plus World Market, Harmon Face Values and — most recently — famous sweet maker Koppers Specialty Chocolate.
By this story’s publication, neither Salmar Properties — the property management company for Liberty View — nor Amazon had responded to a request for comment.
Additional reporting contributed by Jaime DeJesus