Amazon leases a 328,053-square-foot industrial building in Hanover County
Just in time for the holiday rush, Amazon plans to open a new sorting operation in Hanover County on Sept. 1.
In what is the retailing giant’s third location in the Richmond region, Amazon will be the sole tenant in a 328,053-square-foot industrial distribution building that Devon USA just completed at Enterchange at Northlake, according to Edward Mitchell, managing director of Richmond-based Devon.
The building, the final one Devon USA is building in the Northlake industrial park located at 11600 N. Lakeridge Parkway, was designed as a speculative building. Site work began late last year. Yet before marketing or advertising began for the building, Mitchell said real estate brokers from Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer were able to set up an introduction between Amazon and Devon. “We first met with Amazon in January, and we were able to tailor the building to its specific use,” said Mitchell.
Construction began in earnest in February, and the building was up in about six months. “They had a tight delivery requirement,” said Mitchell. The project also includes an adjacent site for 331 parking spaces. Amazon has signed a long-term lease for the space, said Mitchell, who would not comment on the construction cost.
Both Mitchell and Linwood Thomas, director of economic development for Hanover County, said it was their understanding that Amazon wanted the operation up and running by Sept. 1, so it would be in place for the holiday rush of packages the company typically handles. The center is expected to create about 300 jobs.
According to the two men, the operation will be known as a “sortation center.” Amazon already has two massive fulfillment centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie Counties. Product from these centers will be sent to the new operation in Ashland for sorting before it is sent along to the U. S. Postal Service for last-mile delivery, Mitchell said.He credited the county for being a cooperative partner in the process to get the building up quickly. “They’ve done everything possible to make sure there were no delays.”
While Devon still has to go through building inspections in August, Amazon is scheduled to take occupancy by Sept. 1. “If you drive by the building today, you would see Amazon well along in installing their equipment,” said Mitchell.
Amazon did not seek local and state incentives for the project, and Thomas says that may be the reason why word did not leak out earlier about the retailer’s plans. However, once the company began advertising for jobs in the local media, Thomas says the county began receiving inquiries about the building. Richmond BizSense first reported on the new Amazon operation earlier today. Amazon did not respond to requests for a comment about this expansion or plans for future expansions in the Richmond market.
While the county knew a big company was interested in the building, it did not know Amazon was the tenant until about three months ago, Thomas said. He added that the county is thankful that Devon “had the vision and the foresight to take the project on.”
That the fast-track process worked so well shows that the county is willing to work with developers to expedite projects, said Thomas. “I haven’t seen one come out of the ground that quickly.”
In another expansion of its footprint in the Richmond metropolitan area, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported that Amazon is listed as a tenant on building permits for an existing warehouse building in Henrico County near the Richmond Raceway Complex.