This article originally appeared on Philadelphia Business Journal.
Amazon.com Inc. continues to expand its Philadelphia-area presence and is planning to lease a newly constructed 235,240-square-foot warehouse at 3750 State Rd. in Bensalem.
The online retailer has been rumored for months to be taking that building branded as the I-95 Trade Center that was developed on speculation by Ivy Realty and bought earlier this year by LBA Logistics for $28 million, or roughly $117 a square foot.
Bensalem made its own bid to win the Amazon HQ2 project as did Philadelphia and many other communities in the region. It didn’t win the headquarters bid, but like many communities, it is landing one of Amazon’s distribution centers.
Amazon met earlier this month with Bensalem officials about its plans to use 3750 State Rd. as a distribution center, said Joseph DiGirolamo, mayor of Bensalem. Amazon would have a fleet of its smaller, blue trucks pick up items at the property on a daily basis and make deliveries across the region.
The mayor didn’t know how many jobs might be created at the site.
Amazon needs more parking at the State Road project and is exploring buying or leasing nearby adjacent properties to provide it with additional surface parking, DiGirolamo said. The township would also have to do some road improvements to accommodate the addition of the Amazon trucks. As is now, there are 177 spaces for cars and 59 for tractor trailers at the warehouse site
“It’s an undertaking,” he said. “After that meeting, we told them what we could do to help them and that we could try to expedite some things.”
It wasn’t clear exactly what road improvements would be needed or how much additional parking Amazon would need. The property is near several major highways including I-95 and Route 1 and is not far from the New Jersey Turnpike, and therefore have access to a vast area with a major population. The property is also near Norfolk Southern and CSX intermodal yards.
A representative from Amazon said it is “constantly exploring new locations and weighing a variety of factors when deciding where to develop future sites to best serve customers, however, we have a policy of not commenting on our future roadmap and are not yet commenting on any specific operations plans in Pennsylvania.”
Ivy Realty bought what was the former four-story, 152,0000-square-foot Charming Shoppes office headquarters on State Road and demolished the building to make way for the new distribution center. The property totals 20 acres. It was one of several industrial buildings totaling more than two million square feet to get developed on speculation over the last couple of years in the region as Philadelphia has increasingly become an industrial market in which Amazon and other companies want to locate.
Amazon has been methodically leasing buildings around Philadelphia over the last year and has essentially created a ring around the city for its growing last-mile distribution network. It occupies buildings near Philadelphia International Airport, King of Prussia, Langhorne and Lansdale. The company is also looking at locations within the city, according to sources.
Irvine, California-based LBA Logistics lists Amazon among its customers.