The pandemic has been a boon to e-commerce and industrial real estate as retail continues its pivot from brick and mortar storefronts to warehouses and distribution hubs. But now e-commerce giant Amazon is looking to make its next big move in the Chicago-area by building and occupying a planned facility for the West Humboldt Park, Crain’s Chicago Business has reported.
In a different play, the company has actually purchased the property and plans to develop the site itself, versus leasing a facility as it has done at many other sites throughout the Chicago region. According to Crain’s, the delivery facility will span 140,000 square feet on a 26-acre site at the northwest corner of Division and Kostner. The property is currently home to Allied Metal.
In March, the company made moves to acquire a 70-acre industrial site in Gage Park. According to the Chicago Tribune, which broke the story, Amazon agreed to pay $45 million for the Central Steel & Wire plant at 3000 W. 51st Street. Crain’s reports that Amazon has paid $30 million for the West Humboldt Park site.
While not all Chicago City Council members have been warm to the idea of Amazon’s expansion into Chicago, 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts supports the plan and tells Crain’s that the development would be an important opportunity for job creation in West Humboldt Park. Jobs are expected to start at $16/hour at the facility, slightly higher than the city’s $14/hour minimum wage for larger companies. By July 1, the city’s minimum wage for large employers will bump up to $15/hour.
Amazon currently has two other large-scale industrial facilities within Chicago city limits: the DLN4 distribution center in Pullman and the DCH1 station in McKinley Park. A dozen or so other locations are scattered through the Chicago suburbs. Additionally, Amazon has expanded its retail offerings through book stores, returns/drop-off hubs, and of course, Whole Foods Market, which the company purchased in 2017.
More recently, the company also moved some operations into a major redevelopment of the former Maywood Park Racetrack. Amazon ended up taking the entire three-building, 623,000-square-foot development, which was originally planned as a spec project.