Ama­zon leas­ing Ch­ester­field ware­house for sort­ing cen­ter

Bell­wood Road fa­cil­ity for last mile de­liv­ery has cre­ated over 100 jobs

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - BUSINESS - BY SEAN GOR­MAN Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch sgor­man@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6885

Ama­zon is leas­ing a 321,000square-foot ware­house in Ch­ester­field County for a new fa­cil­ity where pack­ages are sorted be­fore be­ing shipped out to lo­cal homes on de­liv­ery vans.

The on­line re­tail gi­ant is us­ing the build­ing at Devon USA’s James River Lo­gis­tics Cen­ter on Bell­wood Road near In­ter­state 95 for last mile de­liv­ery for pack­ages be­ing shipped di­rectly to homes, the Ch­ester­field Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity said in a news re­lease.

The Ama­zon fa­cil­ity was built next to two other ex­ist­ing ware­houses, each cov­er­ing about 406,000 square feet, that are be­ing used by DuPont, said Ed Mitchell, Devon’s manag­ing direc­tor.

The new Ama­zon fa­cil­ity at the Bell­wood Road site started op­er­at­ing in May, ac­cord­ing to the EDA.

“That’s a very good lo­ca­tion for them [Ama­zon], which en­ables them to dis­trib­ute to a very large area from that one fa­cil­ity,” Mitchell said.

Ama­zon opened two 1 mil­lion-square-foot ful­fill­ment cen­ters in the Mead­owville Tech­nol­ogy Park in Ch­ester­field and in Din­wid­die Com­merce Park in Din­wid­die County in 2013.

The Seat­tle-based com­pany has since opened other op­er­a­tions in Virginia and else­where in the Rich­mond re­gion, in­clud­ing ful­fill­ment and sort­ing cen­ters and de­liv­ery sta­tions in Hanover and Hen­rico coun­ties and South Rich­mond. It an­nounced plans in Fe­bru­ary to open a new ful­fill­ment cen­ter in Prince Ge­orge County.

Con­struc­tion on the new ware­house in Ch­ester­field that Ama­zon leased was started last year without Devon hav­ing a ten­ant lined up be­fore­hand. A key in­cen­tive for start­ing con­struc­tion on that ware­house was a Ch­ester­field tax break that would have pro­vided tax relief if the build­ing sat empty without a ten­ant.

But since it was leased so quickly, the county did not have to pro­vide tax relief, said Tina Shreve, a se­nior project man­ager for the Ch­ester­field EDA. Shreve added that the new fa­cil­ity pro­vides Ama­zon easy ac­cess to homes in the Rich­mond area, not­ing that it’s within a mile of I-95.

“So it has easy ac­cess to the rest of the re­gion,” she said.

Ama­zon be­came in­ter­ested in the new Bell­wood Road ware­house build­ing and en­tered a lease shortly af­ter ver­ti­cal con­struc­tion started on the build­ing, Mitchell said in an email.

The lease with Ama­zon was fi­nal­ized in Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to the EDA.

Devon de­vel­oped the sim­i­lar type of fa­cil­ity in 2017 at the En­ter­change at North­lake In­dus­trial Park in Hanover, which it also leased to Ama­zon for a sort­ing cen­ter.

The new Bell­wood Road fa­cil­ity has cre­ated more than 100 full-time and part-time jobs as well as hun­dreds of driver op­por­tu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to the county EDA.

Devon plans to build a 133,000-square-foot ware­house at its James River Lo­gis­tics Cen­ter prop­erty.

Mitchell said Devon has been talk­ing with po­ten­tial ten­ant to lease that space. He de­clined to name the po­ten­tial ten­ant, but said that por­tion of the prop­erty will likely be leased for a lo­gis­tics use.

Devon, which is in the fi­nal stages of county ap­provals for that new ware­house, is ready to start con­struc­tion on it as soon as a lease is fi­nal­ized, Mitchell said.

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