Amazon is opening its biggest warehouse ever in the Inland Empire.
The company signed a lease in the first quarter to take 4.1 million square feet at an unnamed industrial development in Ontario, according to a CBRE report obtained by TRD. CBRE declined to comment on the deal further and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
That’s about 40 Walmart stores in one location.
Prologis is the only developer working on a 4.1 million-square-foot development in Ontario — a five-story warehouse structure set to open next year on Merrill Avenue between South Grove and Carpenter Avenue. Prologis declined to comment on a lease at the property, citing “client confidentiality.” Prologis bought 39 parcels for the site in April of last year, public records show. Roughly a quarter of those sites were bought for $59.8 million.
The property is being built as part of a larger plan, dubbed the Merrill Commerce Center, to build up to 7 million square feet of industrial space and a further 1.2 million square feet of business park real estate on more than 360 acres of former dairy farms and residential lots, according to city planning documents. The city of Ontario did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon’s new facility will be its largest in the country. Over the last few years, the company has also pivoted to owning its real estate and building its own facilities.
In Suffolk, Virginia, Amazon is building a 3.8 million-square-foot warehouse across about 87 acres it purchased for $4.58 million.
In 2019, the company started plans to build a 3.73 million-square-foot development across 70 acres in Colorado Springs. The company paid $6.33 million for the site in 2020.
If Amazon is taking up the Prologis site, the company already has a sorting center across the street, according to Google Maps.
The Prologis development is also minutes from Ontario International Airport, a neighboring UPS regional air hub, and other existing logistics facilities, including distribution hubs for Nike, Restoration Hardware and VF Corporation, which owns Vans, Timberland, Supreme, Dickies, Eastpak and The North Face, among others.
Not all Ontario residents are on board with the influx of warehouses and logistics centers. In March, about 1,000 residents signed a petition against the city moving forward with a plan to rezone almost 220 acres of former agricultural land to allow for industrial development.
Dairy farms are specifically being targeted by developers and Inland Empire cities for redevelopment, as labor has shifted away from agriculture in the region. The relatively new Inland Empire city of Eastvale has proposed to construct a new downtown and civic center, with up to 2,500 homes across 153 acres of former dairy farms.