Covid-19 may have dealt a death blow to traditional brick-and-mortar retail but it has also turbocharged the e-commerce industry.
One of the main beneficiaries has been Amazon, which will ink leases for another 2.5 million square feet of warehouses in the Chicago area, according to Crain’s. That’s in addition to the 3.4 million square feet the Jeff Bezos-led juggernaut will occupy after having inked four leases and acquired a fifth property since September.
Amazon has agreed to a lease for a planned 1 million-square-foot space in Industrial Park, and two 750,000-square-foot warehouses in Kenosha and Channahon, Crain’s reported. The Kenosha warehouse — at 4306 120th Ave. — was developed by Logistics Property and the Channahon building — at 23700 W. Bluff Road — was developed by IDI Logistics, according to the report. Both were built on spec and leased before work started. The University Park location was not known.
Chicago’s industrial market has been a steady source of strength for years. And in the first quarter of this year, 16 spec projects were completed, according to Colliers International. That brought the total to 73.6 million square feet of Class A space over 275 buildings since 2013.
Amazon’s three new lease deals were negotiated before the spread of coronavirus ground the U.S. economy to a near halt, shuttering business, emptying out hotels and leaving millions unemployed. But businesses like Amazon and Walmart have been aggressively hiring employees to keep up with the explosion in online purchases of food and other essentials.
Amazon’s interest in the Chicago area, however, is nothing new. The e-tailer has taken 13 million square feet of warehouse space in the last 10 years, Crain’s reported. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman