Amazon Pulls Back from Planned Bridgeport Warehouse Previously Opposed by Community Groups

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Edward Lowenbaum, managing principal of commercial real estate firm Cresa, calls it a modest pullback.

“Amazon is not fire-selling these assets, they’re being very strategic,” he said. “They’re keeping their big core facilities, but there are a number of small, last-mile facilities that they’ve put back on the marketplace.”

Amazon also delayed the opening of a facility in West Humboldt Park that was originally slated to open by the end of last year.

In January, community activists protested outside that facility calling for Amazon to open the facility and employ neighborhood residents there. At the time, Kelly said the delay was caused by supply chain concerns and “business reasons.” The West Humboldt Park warehouse is slated to open this fall.Amazon isn’t the only firm giving up on some leases.

The pandemic sent demand for home deliveries soaring nationwide, according to Craig Van Pelt, Cresa’s head of research. Many retailers responded by leasing new warehouses at a torrid pace, now have too many, and need to put some up for sublease.

“The market is still really hot, but I think it’s taking a breath,” he said.

The Bridgeport Amazon facility up for sublease faced some community opposition when plans for the project first emerged.

In fall 2020, when the project was up for approval by the Chicago Plan Commission, a coalition of neighborhood and environmental justice groups submitted a letter urging commissioners to reject the proposed rezoning of the site.

In their letter, the groups, which included the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Southwest Environmental Justice Coalition, pointed to the concentration of logistics and other industrial facilities they said proliferated on the city’s South and West sides.

“South, Southwest and West Side communities should not have to sacrifice health, environment, traffic safety, or quality of life for economic prosperity,” they wrote.