Second Amazon center to be built on Holabird Avenue
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:14

Construction of the Amazon sorting center has not begun, but it expected to open along with the fulfillment center in September.
photo by Ben Boehl

Second center to be adjacent to primary site

by Ben Boehl

    It appears that Amazon.com’s plans for Dundalk have now expanded.
    Amazon announced last fall that it will open a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center on the 184-acre former General Motors (GM) property near Holabird Avenue and Broening Highway.
    That facility is expected to create 1,000 full-time jobs, which Amazon claims will pay an average of 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs.
    Duke Realty owns the property, and Brian Strohl, director of Design and Construction at Duke, told The Eagle last week that another 350,000-square-foot structure for a second Amazon warehouse will be built at his site.
    The second center will be built on Holabird Avenue alongside the previously-announced warehouse on Broening Highway.
    Strohl did not provide an estimate of how many jobs the second facility will bring.
    He did, however, specify that the center is not going to be an Amazon Fresh — the company’s grocery delivery arm — as has been reported elsewhere.
    “This will be a sorting center to go along with the big fulfillment center,” Strohl said. “The buildings will have a conveyor belt [and be] connected to each other, similar to what GM had during its operation.”
    The former GM plant closed in 2005, resulting in the loss of 1,000 jobs. Duke purchased the site in 2006.
    Duke has recruited Amazon for leasing agreements on multiple properties in other parts of the country.
    Strohl said at a community meeting in October that the previously-
announced Amazon facility was scheduled to open by September 2014.    
    He gave an update last week and said the September deadline has not changed despite the bad weather, and the sorting center also needs to be ready by September.
    “We will have to [have the building ready for Amazon] by Sept. 14.”
    Eric W. Tiso of the Baltimore City Department of Planning confirmed that the city did receive requests for a building permit for 5001 Holabird Ave.
    “We did review a warehouse/distribution center building for Duke Realty which is next to the Amazon site that’s under construction,” Tiso said in an e-mail to The Eagle. 
    “I don’t have any details on the exact use or construction schedule, since that’s all downstream of our review.”
    The announcement received a positive review from Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft, who represents southeastern Baltimore City.
    “[This is] great news, with more jobs and more ancillary opportunities,” Kraft said.