Amazon to open distribution center in Bridge Point North industrial park in Waukegan
The Waukegan lease is just the latest in a real estate binge in the Chicago area that Amazon began a few years ago and sped up at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The expansion has slowed a bit this year but shows few signs of winding down.
The company has been on a hiring spree as well, adding 15,000 employees in Illinois last year with plans to hire another 3,800 in 2021. Amazon recently agreed to lease a 629,000-square-foot warehouse in Huntley, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, expected to employ more than 1,000 full-time workers after it opens next year. The company also bought sites in the Chicago neighborhoods of Gage Park and Humboldt Park where it plans more warehouses.
Amazon did not disclose how many people would work at the new Waukegan building, which will be a so-called sortation center, an intermediate stop for packages ordered through the Amazon website. The existing Waukegan facility was expected to employ about 400 full-time workers when it opened in 2017.
Amazon is leasing the building from Bridge Industrial, the Chicago-based developer of Bridge Point North, a three-phase project covering 225 acres. Bridge, which started the development in 2015, has completed and sold off the first two phases, comprising nearly 2 million square feet of warehouse space. The third and final phase, totaling about 919,000 square feet of space, includes the Amazon building.
Bridge partner Nick Siegel declined to confirm that Amazon had signed a second lease in the park but said that the four buildings in phase three are about 85 percent leased. Bridge is getting ready to put those properties up for sale, he said.