Amazon Takes More Warehouse Space in Philadelphia for Last-Mile Distribution

NFI Philly Inc. has leased 94,000 square feet in Philadelphia for last-mile distribution as part of its continued expansion throughout the region.

The online retailer signed a long-term lease on a portion of a building at 700 Ramona Ave. in North Philadelphia, according to those familiar with the deal. The building had been vacant.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been one of the most active companies leasing industrial space throughout the region as it continues to build not only its network of last-mile distribution centers but larger warehouse buildings as well. In 2020, the online retailer signed onto more than 3 million square feet of space in the Philadelphia area, South Jersey and Wilmington in a mix of large and small warehouse facilities.

Among the more recent last-mile spaces it signed onto are 3750 State Road, a 235,000-square-foot building in Bensalem; 3025 Meeting House Road, a 207,500-square-foot building in Philadelphia; 2400 Weccacoe Ave., a 283,000-square-foot building in Philadelphia; and 2891 Benigno Blvd. in Bellmawr, New Jersey.

Those leases add to the other last-mile facilities Amazon already has in West Deptford, King of Prussia, Lansdale, Langhorne, Philadelphia and throughout South Jersey.

On a larger scale, Amazon signed leases last year on a 1.25-million-square-foot building under development in Carney’s Point, New Jersey, and an 820,000-square-foot facility at a former General Motors plant in Wilmington. It also opened in November a new 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Berks County. The facility is the online retail giant’s 15th large fulfillment center in Pennsylvania.

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of Amazon’s distribution footprint as more consumers buy everything from groceries to furniture online. The company’s commitment to growing its real estate presence underscores the its confidence that those consumer buying habits will stick around post-pandemic and address demand for deliveries that happen within hours of an order being placed.

The company said last summer it expected to boost its warehouse capacity by 50% before the end of 2020. By comparison, Amazon grew its distribution network by 15% in 2019.

Research conducted by the Puget Sound Business Journal, a sister publication of the Philadelphia Business Journal, shows the company has at least 70 logistics facilities in development across the United States.

The building at 700 Ramona totals 283,000 square feet and is vacant. It sold last April for $8.5 million. The building had been occupied by Simkar Inc., a manufacturer of lights and lighting fixtures that filed for bankruptcy last year. The building was sold as part of the bankruptcy liquidation.

*Article Courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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