Online retail giant Amazon is leasing space for a large distribution center along Interstate 95 in South Richmond, creating 150 jobs.
Amazon will put the fulfillment and last-mile delivery center on Commerce Road just south of the Bells Road exit off I-95 near the Richmond Marine Terminal.
The company will lease the 461,700-square-foot speculative warehouse building that Panattoni Development Co. has under construction. It is slated to be ready in October.
California-based Panattoni Development bought the 62-acre property west of I-95 in 2017 and created the Virginia Interstate 95 Logistics Center.
It built a 461,700-square-foot warehouse, and Brother International Corp., a distribution company based in Bridgewater, N.J., relocated its East Coast distribution warehousing from New Jersey to that building a few months ago.
Panattoni Development began building a similarly sized building on the site, which is what Amazon will lease.
Matt Anderson from Colliers International’s Richmond office represented Panattoni Development in the leasing arrangements with Amazon.
Bill Hudgins, senior development manager for Panattoni Development, said the key factor for Amazon was the need to be up and running in a matter of months.
“We had a spec building on the way that they were looking for when they came to market,” he said.
Being in close proximity to Richmond Marine Terminal and I-95 also were factors, he said.
“The site offered a space already under construction that will allow the company to be up and running quickly,” said Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “The company also cited an outstanding workforce, strong local support and its customer base.”
The new warehouse will be a fulfillment center that handles large products as well as a last-mile delivery center to the Richmond market, Moret said.
John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said Amazon selected a distribution site that provides it with easy access to its cargo via Richmond Marine Terminal and to its customers from I-95.
“Amazon is going to bring jobs, investment and interest to our state capital and cargo to The Port of Virginia,” Reinhart said. “It is also important to recognize Panattoni Development Co. for its foresight to build speculative warehouse space in this market. Public and private infrastructure development outside our gates, combined with ongoing terminal improvements, are helping to drive Virginia’s economy.”
Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.
Amazon entered the Richmond area in late 2012 by opening two distribution centers, each with 1.2 million square feet of space — in the Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield County and another in Dinwiddie County.
Since then, Amazon has added other operations in the Richmond region and around Virginia.
For instance, Amazon leases a 328,000-square-foot building on Lakeridge Parkway in the Enterchange at Northlake business park in Hanover County to serve as a package-sorting facility.
Amazon has since grown its workforce in Virginia to more than 10,000 full-time employees, according to Gov. Ralph Northam’s office, which made the announcement Wednesday about Amazon locating the distribution center in South Richmond.
The company operates 10 fulfillment and sortation centers in Virginia, the governor’s office said. It also operates one tech hub, 13 Whole Foods Market store locations, and Prime Now distribution centers in Richmond, Springfield and Virginia Beach, according to the governor’s office.