Amazon Signs 1M SF Distribution Center in Calif.

In the push for same-day delivery, the king of online sales is adding another massive shipping and sorting center

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Amazon has filled yet another major order.

The king of online sales signed a lease for a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Central California. It will be the anchor tenant at one of the largest industrial commerce complexes in the Western U.S., according to the landlord, Wonderful Real Estate. The massive industrial park is in the city of Shafter, bordering Bakersfield, and also includes major tenants like Walmart, Target, and Ross Stores.

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Amazon’s continued expansion comes as online shopping and e-commerce consumer activity surges in the U.S., further demonstrating the persistent need for warehouse and industrial space. Amazon will use the 72-acre property at 4500 Express Avenue to sort and ship items including apparel, accessories, and footwear. The site will create more than 1,000 full- and part-time jobs that pay a minimum of $15 per hour.

The deal also comes shortly after the owners announced that Walmart signed a lease to occupy a 630,000-square-foot, grocery-focused distribution center at the same Wonderful Industrial Park (WIP). 

The 1,625-acre distribution center complex is approximately 100 miles north of Los Angeles. It is entitled for 26 million square feet, and nearly 10 million square feet are leased and under operation following the Amazon lease.

The park’s location allows access to 14 percent of the U.S. population within 300 miles, and same-day delivery to 30 million Californians, according to Wonderful Real Estate. The site also boasts access to the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, and the Port of Oakland. The property features a FedEx Ground hub on-site, and is near a UPS ground hub in Bakersfield, where Amazon opened another distribution center last August. 

Ross Stores occupies more than 3 million square feet of space, while Target is signed to 2 million square feet of space at WIP. Other occupants include Essendant (Staples), American Tire Distributors, Formica, and Hillman, as well as other third-party logistics companies.

“Despite COVID-19, the commercial real estate story of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 continues to be how hot the industrial market is, with tenants like Ross, Walmart and now, Amazon, choosing to locate these major mission-critical facilities at WIP in consecutive years,” said Joe Vargas, president of Wonderful Real Estate Development, in a press release.

Amazon, the largest occupier of industrial space in North America, and other e-commerce tenants — along with prominent industrial landlords — are famously thriving more than usual due, in part, to stay-at-home orders. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of online shopping, and industrial real estate has been the safest asset to bet on amid the downturn. 

In December, San Francisco-based Stockbridge and the National Pension Service of Korea in Seoul paid $2 billion for 23 shipping centers for Amazon, Walmart and Target — two of which are located in Southern California’s Inland Empire. The buyers said it was the largest commercial real estate transaction in the country since the pandemic hit.

Amazon has been busy around the country, and throughout the state of California. The firm recently announced another new delivery center in Silicon Beach in L.A., and in November, Amazon acquired the Orange County Register’s former printing location for $63.2 million, and plans to demolish it and build a new last-mile distribution warehouse. 

In the first quarter of 2021, Wonderful will also break ground on its latest speculative development, a 1.1 million-square-foot property at 3800 Fanucchi Way in WIP, which is set to be complete before the end of the year.