Amazon employs thousands of people at each of its fulfillment centers. — Courtesy: Amazon
By Joshua Burd
Amazon has formally unveiled plans for three new fulfillment centers in New Jersey, adding to what is already a sprawling footprint across the state’s industrial real estate market.
The new sites are in Cranbury, Edison and Logan Township, totaling nearly 3 million square feet. Market experts have buzzed about the locations in recent months as the e-commerce giant has inked leases with developers, but Amazon on Friday announced the locations for the first time along with plans to create more than 2,500 new, full-time jobs.
The Seattle-based company did not include exact addresses in the announcement, but said the facilities include roughly 900,000-square-foot sites in Cranbury and Edison and a 1 million-square-foot facility in Logan. Researchers have identified the Edison location as Seagis Gateway 10 in Edison, located at 2170 State Route 27 in the Middlesex County township.
Amazon did say that employees in Cranbury and Logan will pick, pack and ship larger customer items such as music equipment, sports gear and patio furniture, while the Edison fulfillment center is for smaller customer items such as books, toys and kitchenware.
The company has gobbled up industrial space in New Jersey since entering the market in 2012, thanks in part to the state’s access and proximity to the nation’s largest consumer market. It already has more than 13,000 full-time employees across seven existing facilities in Avenel, Carteret, Florence, Logan Township and Robbinsville.
“Our ability to expand in New Jersey is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North American operations. “We are excited to continue growing by creating an additional 2,500 full-time roles at new fulfillment centers across the state.”
Amazon is among the top players that are fueling a prolonged surge in the state’s industrial market. Strong leasing velocity in the first quarter of 2017 pushed industrial vacancy rates to new historic lows, below 2 percent in some areas, according to JLL, with northern and central New Jersey recording some 1.7 million square feet of positive net absorption during Q1.
“Coming off its best year this cycle, northern and central New Jersey continued to see market fundamentals accelerate,” said David Knee, senior managing director at JLL. “Overall asking rental rates remained on the rise, as overall vacancy rates hit all new lows. Despite historically low vacancy rates, robust rent growth and market-wide landlord-favorable conditions, leasing velocity held steadfast.”
Amazon’s announcement also included a statement of support from Gov. Chris Christie, whose administration reached an agreement with the company in 2013 that required it to begin collecting sales tax. The deal paved the way for its first two fulfillment centers in Robbinsville and Carteret.
“We applaud Amazon for investing in several expansions throughout New Jersey and for creating greater opportunities for our high-quality workforce,” Christie said in a prepared statement. “Today’s great news is no accident or coincidence. Over the last seven-plus years, my administration has lowered a variety of taxes, improved New Jersey’s business climate, increased the number of well-paying jobs and grown the overall economy.
“Amazon’s action should encourage even more employers to benefit from all New Jersey has to offer.”