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Amazon coming to Woodmere

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Amazon, the ubiquitous ecommerce company that has sent items to homes and businesses across the globe, is headed to Woodmere as part of a lease agreement with the Town of Hempstead.

The 422,000-square-foot warehouse will be built and owned by JFK Logistics Center LLC, an affiliate of Wildflower Ltd., a New York City development firm led by managing partner Adam Gordon. It is expected to be the largest of the Amazon warehouses on Long Island. Wildflower has a relationship with Amazon leasing warehouse space to the e-commerce giant that is two full city blocks in size in Brooklyn, according to Gordon.

In 2019, JFK Logistics received permission from the New York State Department of Conversation to originally build a three-story, 233,234-square-foot building on the 10.71-acre parcel at 253-51 Rockaway Blvd. Gordon said the warehouse will be three stories but has now nearly doubled in size as it will include parking structure on top of the building.

“Wildflower is Amazon’s most active economic developer in the city,” Gordon said, noting that because of a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon, he could not speak on the project’s details.

Roughly one mile from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens the site was previously a long-term parking lot for the airport. It is adjacent to the Five Towns Shopping Center and a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. A portion of the site’s parking lot is in Rosedale, Queens.

Granted economic development incentives by the town, the warehouse will serve as what is called a “last-mile delivery facility,” for Amazon. Delivery stations such as these are part of the last mile of Amazon’s order process and help speed up deliveries for customers. Packages are shipped to a delivery station from Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, then delivered to customers.

“The jobs it will create to distribute products throughout the region will provide opportunities for our residents and help Long Island recover from the pandemic,” Town Supervisor Don Clavin stated in a news release. The delivery station is expected to bring at least 50 full-time-equivalent jobs within two years of its completion, officials said.

Approved in April 2020 and finalized in October includes a 15-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement and exemptions from mortgage recording and sales taxes, town officials said. It is expected to open at the end of this year.

A one-time payment of $250,000 will be made to the Lawrence School District. Lawrence officials had originally opposed the initial 20-year PILOT plan, saying the school district would lose millions in tax dollars.

“This property as a parking lot generated minimal taxes for the town and school district,” Frederick Parola, CEO of the town’s Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency said in the release. “Now, it will be put to better use and provide tremendous economic benefits and employment opportunities.”

Amazon’s other Long Island sites are in Bethpage and Shirley, with a new delivery stations coming to Carle Place.

“We are excited to continue to invest in New York with a new Woodmere delivery station that will provide efficient delivery for customers, and create job opportunities with highly competitive pay, benefits starting on the first day of employment, and training programs for in-demand jobs,” Amazon spokewoman Jenna Hilzenrath wrote in an email.