Amazon.com Inc. has a lease to fully occupy a newly built warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia’s Byberry East Industrial Park, as the e-commerce giant boosts its North American headcount in response to a surge in online-shopping demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon will be the sole tenant of the 207,370-square-foot Philadelphia Logistics Center building at 3025 Meeting House Rd., according to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, whose board voted last week to lease a nearby city-owned property to the company for use as a parking lot.
The Philadelphia Logistics Center lease comes amid a hiring push that Amazon said this week would add 100,000 full- and part-time logistics jobs over an unspecified period of time in the United States and Canada, paying at least $15 an hour, twice the federal minimum. About 5,000 of those jobs will be in Philadelphia, a company spokesperson said.
Amazon has seen sales explode, especially for groceries and other household goods, as consumers avoid in-person shopping and continue to work from home due to the coronavirus.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that the company plans to open 1,000 warehouses nestled within cities and suburbs to more quickly reach customers with deliveries.
Amazon did not respond to follow-up emails asking whether the Philadelphia Logistics Center was one of those such locations, and whether the jobs it would accommodate were among the 100,000 it has announced.
Amazon will employ 280 full- and part-time workers at the four-acre facility near the city border with Bucks County, the authority said.
Authority documents describe the Northeast Philadelphia site as a “last-mile distribution facility,” a term that generally describes warehouses close to population centers to serve as final way points between far-off factories and customers’ homes.
The property’s Denver-based owner, the Black Creek Group, declined to comment.
Including the new lease, Amazon has deals at 24 existing or under-construction warehouses comprising 9.4 million square feet of space in an area that includes Philadelphia and surrounding Pennsylvania and South Jersey counties, plus New Castle County in Delaware and Cecil County in Maryland, according to real-estate data tracker the CoStar Group.
Three of those properties, comprising 655,870 square feet, are in Philadelphia itself, according to CoStar. Some of Amazon’s biggest facilities in the region are in Logan Township and Burlington.
The company has nearly 630 facilities nationwide, according to MWPVL International Inc., a logistics consulting firm.
It is scheduled to open 100 new “operations buildings,” which include fulfillment and sorting centers and delivery stations, this month, Amazon said.
Chicago-based Ridge Development broke ground on the Philadelphia Logistics Center building in late 2018 on land acquired from the city for $2.18 million.
At the time, it was the first modern, e-commerce-serving distribution hub — or “logistics center” — to be built in the city as a so-called speculative development, without tenants lined up to use the space.
A Black Creek affiliate paid $25.6 million for the completed facility in December 2019, city property records show.
Under Amazon’s deal with the authority, the company is expected to invest $2.5 million to put a parking lot on a seven-acre city-owned site at 2703 Black Lake Place. It will pay the city yearly rent starting at $43,800, with annual increases.
The lease is for a 10-year term with two five-year renewal options to coincide with Amazon’s deal at the Philadelphia Logistics Center facility, according to the authority’s documents.
The property is in an area designated by officials as a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which gives businesses operating within its borders breaks on taxes.
Staff writer Christian Hetrick contributed to this article.