Posted on July 20, 2021 · Posted in Industrial / Flex, Investments, Retail

Amazon is expanding again in South Florida, and it could speed your purchases to your door.

The company this summer will open a same-day fulfillment center in Tamarac, a facility close to customers to get products to them within five hours of ordering. Amazon will open the site in a 178,240-square-foot warehouse in the city’s Commerce Park, directly north of City Furniture.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment about the plans in Tamarac or its opening date, but the center is the latest of nearly a dozen possible Amazon centers in South Florida, with more to come.

The sites range from warehouses to fulfillment centers to same-day sites like the one planned for Tamarac. The same-day sites were first announced in a company blog in March 2020 for delivery of up to 3 million items in Philadelphia; Phoenix; Orlando; and Dallas.

The warehouse and fulfillment centers both function as storage facilities. The fulfillment centers are larger and different than smaller “last-mile” delivery centers that occupy other South Florida neighborhoods since they’re heavily automated and house large inventories of electronics, household goods, books, toys and other products the company’s customers order online.

Amazon’s chief competitor is Walmart+, which uses its stores as distribution centers. That forces Amazon to come up with a new way to say “I can get it to you just as fast as they are.”

“Amazon places the most sought-after items around the country, ready to go out at a moment’s notice,” said Jeremiah Gutierrez, president of United National Consumer Suppliers, an international wholesale distribution company based in Fort Lauderdale. “Amazon is trying to capture that market of instant gratification. The pandemic retrained our mentality how we want to be consumers. There was a time you wanted to interact with people. Now it’s we just want to go in, get out and move on with our lives and not interact with as many people we used to before.”

In April, Broward County commissioners reached an agreement with Amazon after voting to declare an impasse in negotiations with a different company to build on 61 acres near U.S. 27 and Sheridan Street near Pembroke Pines. The land is the largest chunk of undeveloped land owned by Broward County.

The e-commerce giant had earlier told county leaders it would create 500 jobs at the new distribution warehouse and “this facility would actually support our entire delivery network throughout North America.”

A county representative just said that Amazon was still interested in the site and there have been “some negotiations” but it was still early in the process.

In March, Amazon revealed plans to open four more delivery stations for speedier deliveries in South Florida, two of them in Fort Lauderdale and Miramar that would “power the last mile” of the assembly line to get packages out faster in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to a company spokesman.

It also has announced plans to convert two warehouses in western Pompano Beach into a delivery station to more quickly get retail goods to customers. That project is still under construction and no opening date has been set.

Still to come: Plans are pending in western Sunrise to build a fulfillment center, which would employ 1,000 full-time staffers and service orders from cities across the country. A city spokeswoman said Monday that city hearings have not yet been scheduled.

And Amazon will open another delivery station at an existing 269,000-square-foot warehouse in Pembroke Park, which is still under renovation in the industrial park district, according to the town’s manager.

In Palm Beach County, a delivery station operates in West Palm Beach and a distribution center in Boca Raton.

“A 1 million-square-foot distribution site is under construction in unincorporated Palm Beach County just west of Jupiter, ” said Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.

Amazon’s plans to build a distribution site in the village of Golf, which is south of Boynton Beach, were thwarted by traffic concerns, but Smallridge said the current three sites will not be the end.

“There are some on the drawing board,” Smallridge said

She said she could not speak about plans in the works.

“That’s not the end of Amazon. It looks ripe for Palm Beach County for Amazon activity,”  Smallridge said.

Amazon refuses to say which destinations are next on the list.

“Amazon is a dynamic business, and we are 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,” a spokesman said in an email.

 

Source: SunSentinel

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