Online retailing giant Amazon is rumored to be targeting the town of Niagara to find a new distribution warehouse that will create 1,000 new jobs.

The company initially submitted plans for a 3 million square foot, five storey warehouse near Niagara Falls International Airport, which appeared on the February and March agendas of the Niagara County and Town of Niagara planning boards.

Those plans were since pulled from the agendas after attorneys from the developer got involved, before a decision could be made.

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The developer, Atlanta-based JB2 Partners, was still showing a review of the 216-acre site at 8995 Lockport Road, including an updated environmental study.

The initial site plan could be back on the planning board agendas in the next 60 days.

At the moment, neither Amazon nor JB2 Partners appear to have made a firm and final commitment to the project, which could cost up to $300 million and create up to 1,000 full- and part-time jobs.

In 2020, Amazon had proposed building a 3.8 million-square-foot complex on a 145-acre tract of property along Grand Island’s Long Road.

The Seattle-based retail giant withdrew the plans after residents there launched an intense campaign against the project, citing ecological and quality of life concerns.

In Niagara County, the cancellation of those plans sparked a frenzy of action. At the time, both county economic development officials and Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino expressed interest in relocating the project north.

Niagara County economic development officials said they reached out quickly to the developer when the Grand Island project hesitated.

Niagara County was also an active bidder during Amazon’s search for a second headquarters location as well.

The application in support of the preliminary site plan review designated that the proposed tenant for the warehouse had beforehand made efforts to construct a similar project in “a neighboring jurisdiction.”

It is likely the new warehouse facility would present some of the same issues that animated protests by Grand Island residents.

The original site plan recommends it would have in excess of 50 loading docks and offer parking for close to 500 truck trailers, a sign that the facility would create a considerable amount of traffic.

Source: Washington Times Herald

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