$125M Amazon cargo hub — and 1,000 new jobs — coming to Newark airport

Posted Aug 05, 2021

Amazon is coming to Newark Liberty International Airport, and bringing with it 1,000 jobs, after Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioners approved a 20-year lease of two buildings on the airport’s north side for a regional air cargo hub.

Under the lease, approved Thursday, Amazon will spend $125 million to redevelop two 1990s vintage buildings into a new state-of-the-art 250,000 square foot air cargo campus. The facility, which could open during the first quarter of 2023, is expected to employee 1,000 people, primarily from communities surrounding the airport, said Huntley Lawrence, authority director of aviation.

“This will be a regional hub on the east coast,” said Rick Cotton, Port Authority executive director. “Cargo will come in and be dispatched in large shipments to last mile distribution warehouses.”

The Amazon redevelopment will not require Port Authority funding and the Authority, which has seen COVID-19 sap revenues due to travel downturns, will receive a lump sum upfront payment of $150 million and another $157 million in additional rent over the next 20 years. It has the potential to increase the airport’s workforce by almost 5%, enhancing its role as a vital part of the Authority’s recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, said Kevin O’Toole, Authority board of commissioners chairman.

The Authority’s airports are still seeing a slow recovery for travel downturns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, airport passenger traffic was down 47% compared to the same time in 2019, which rebounded slightly the week of July 19 –25, to 35% down from 2019, Cotton said.

“The bottom line is we’re trending up, but still down more than a third,” he said.

The community could further benefit from a commitment to meet Port Authority goals of 20% for Minority-owned Business Enterprises and 10% for Woman-owned Business Enterprises hired to provide architectural, engineering and construction activity relating to improvements and operating the new cargo facility, officials said.

“This investment in Newark Liberty International Airport will create 1,000 jobs and provide significant opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises,” said Governor Phil Murphy in a statement. “Air cargo is vital to the international supply chain, and with this new partnership, Newark will continue to be a global leader in logistics.”

The new e-commerce hub will provide needed revenue to the Port Authority while also bringing new jobs to the state, he said.

Amazon was the successful firm selected from three that submitted proposals for redevelopment of that site to the Port Authority.

The Amazon air cargo campus is the latest in a number of projects underway at Newark airport, including construction of Terminal One that is being completed on the south end of the airport, which officials said could be open in April or May. Replacement of the outmoded 25-year old monorail with a modern AirTrain Newark is ongoing. An RFP for a design-builder for the AirTrain was released in May 2021 to four pre-selected design and construction teams.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-08-06 03:17:34 -0700