Amazon Makes Presentation to City of Niagara Board of Directors

NIAGARA, NY (WIVB) – On Tuesday evening, Amazon met with members of the Niagara Town board of directors at a workshop to discuss the planned new mega-retail facility for Lockport Road.

Project managers from Amazon, Phillips Lytle LLP, JB2 Partners, LLC, Langan Engineering, and SRF Associates presented to board members. This is similar to presentations they have made previously with the Niagara County Planning Board and Zoning Board.

Early planning stages are underway for a giant new distribution facility at 8995 Lockport Rd. in the City of Niagara. This warehouse will be a first mile facility, meaning it will primarily serve local residents who purchase products from the company.

“If you buy your annual Bills gear, it will be stored in a facility like this nearby,” said Maura Kennedy, Amazon’s head of business development.

Niagara County officials have confirmed that the e-commerce giant is coming to Niagara County, after months as Project FiFi. The project released the County Planning Board last month.

The proposal will create jobs both at Amazon and during the construction process.

“We are really looking to bring economic opportunity to the jurisdiction through this investment. We are looking to create 1,000 full-time positions. All [of them] earn an average of $18 or more per hour,” Kennedy added.

One of the main concerns of council members and residents is traffic. The site has three entrances from Lockport Road. Nearly 500 trucks will enter and exit the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is also an exit on Tuscarora Road for passenger vehicles. An initial traffic assessment was carried out by SRF Associates, which concluded that peak times for the facility do not interrupt main travel times at major intersections.

“They have shifts that happen in the morning and evening. These working hours do not overlap with rush hour traffic at intersections,” said Amy Dake, senior traffic engineer at SRF Associates.

Some suggestions included adjustments to Interstate 190 to accommodate more traffic. Additionally, the council wants to know more about the economy and how the facility will generate money for the city.

“Generally, a facility of this size is going to generate a lot more tax revenue than it will cost the city,” continued Kim Mason, partner at Phillips Lytle LLP.

Local officials were mostly optimistic, saying they want the project to happen, based on what they’ve seen so far.

“We’re a bit on our toes because we’re concerned about our constituents, but I can’t say negative about anything so far. I think you’ve done your homework before you even give us a presentation,” assistant supervisor Charles Teixeira said.

The next steps will come in May when the project again goes through city, zoning and planning boards. There will also be a public comment period before a final vote.

The company was already planning to move to western New York, but that plan fell apart when residents of Grand Island pushed back to 2020. That same year, Niagara City Supervisor Lee Wallace, sent a letter saying his city was “fully in agreement”. and has pledged to help bring this great project to Niagara County.

The facility will be four stories tall, over 3 million square feet, built on 216 acres of land and will include 55 loading docks, 414 trailer parking stalls, 1,755 parking stalls and two custodial buildings. This will cover 7% of the property, as requested by JB2 Partners, LLC.and 105 acres will be left untouched.

The City of Niagara has posted many of the planning documents on its website. March Board Meeting Minutes Available here.

Tara Lynch is a A Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, NY, a sister station to News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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