As it moves across the US closing, canceling and delaying fulfillment centers and last-mile delivery stations—a cost-cutting binge now encompassing 32M SF and growing—Amazon has gone out of its way to downplay any narrative that it is pulling back from an expansive future as the e-commerce leader.
The e-retail giant wants everyone to know it is not abandoning any of the locations it earmarked for growth during a pandemic expansion that doubled the size of Amazon’s logistics network, to more than 400M SF by the end of 2021.
The Seattle-based tech giant—which, in the midst of laying off 18K workers, last week disclosed that it is pausing construction on the lion’s share of its mammoth HQ2 project in Virginia—seems to be particularly sensitive about any suggestion that it has changed its plans for more than 4,100 acres of land and property Amazon swallowed during the pandemic.
Last week, Amazon publicly criticized a new survey from logistics consultants MWPVL International—the most reliable tracker of Amazon’s sprawling logistics network for more than a decade—suggesting that its latest tally of shutdowns, 99 facilities in 30 states, was somehow padded, without providing any specifics.
Amazon issued a statement accusing MWPVL of “[saying] we’re selling or abandoning land or buildings that we’re keeping, or buildings that we never had in our possession to begin with.”
Perhaps to underline this point—or maybe it’s just a coincidence—Amazon has just purchased for $238M the 42-acre site of a defunct Owens Corning fiberglass factory in Santa Clara, according to filings this month—a prime development site for any potential new mega-warehouse in Silicon Valley.
Owens Corning Insulating Systems sold the two-parcel property at 960 Central Expressway to Amazon in an all-cash deal, public records said. The facility, which made fiberglass, insulation and roofing products, ceased operations last year.
In January, Amazon began selling off some of the land and property it acquired for new warehouse development during its non-stop acquisitions binge in 2021.
Dermody Properties purchased a four-building office campus in Milpitas from Amazon—and will convert the 29-acre Bay Area site into something that once was part of Amazon’s original plans for the property: a 490K SF warehouse. The e-commerce giant bought the vacant 395K SF Metro Corporate Center for $123M in October 2021 after the land was entitled by Milpitas for industrial use.
Amazon last month issued WARN notices eliminating 524 tech office jobs in the Bay Area, with layoffs impacting workers in Sunnyvale and San Francisco, according to a report in SiliconValley.