Warehouses are transforming New York neighborhoods with the rise of e-commerce

But the rise of warehouses has also sparked significant opposition. While they create jobs and can lower residential property taxes by contributing to the local tax base, area residents say larger centers will bring constant streams of tractor-trailers and delivery vans that will make pollution worse. and traffic jams.

They also lamented the loss of open land to mega-installations. In recent months, residents of Pilesgrove Township in southern New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from Wilmington, Del., have been protesting plans for a 1.6 million square foot warehouse – larger than Ellis Island – on former farmland.

While Amazon, large retailers and logistics operators such as UPS, FedEx and DHL dominated the initial wave of warehouse agreements at the start of the pandemic, interest is now coming from smaller companies looking to better control their supply chain in the midst of a global bottleneck in movement. goods.

“I’ve been doing this for about 30 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” said Rob Kossar, JLL vice president who oversees the company’s industrial division in the northeast. “For tenants to get space, they have to negotiate leases with multiple landlords on spaces that aren’t even available. It’s crazy what they have to do. »

Rising facility rental costs have frustrated some small-business owners who can’t compete with retail and logistics giants, as well as newcomers like Tesla and Rivian, which have opened meeting rooms. exhibition and service centers for their electric vehicles in Brooklyn warehouses. Warehouse rental prices in the Bronx, for example, have jumped 22% since the pandemic began.

Warehouse jobs still make up only a fraction of New York’s workforce, but businesses are booming. Since 2019, the number of warehouse jobs has doubled to 16,500 by the end of 2021. New hires at Amazon earn around $18 an hour and get severance bonuses of up to $3,000. But the company has also battled workers at some of its warehouses, including on Staten Island, who are trying to unionize to improve working conditions.

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