Upcoming Community Meeting with Amazon on June 1st

After two years of negotiating community benefits with Spear Street Capital (SSC), the community got wind of a huge change of plans: Instead of developing mixed office and retail in the former Sears Outlet on 51st Street, SSC would be leasing the site to Amazon. This meant that the warehouse would remain a distribution center, and all the agreed upon community benefits associated with the formerly required zoning approvals could be scrapped in the process.

Since we learned of the new plans in December, Lawrenceville Corporation (LC) and Lawrenceville United (LU) have met twice with Amazon representatives. We’ve learned that Amazon anticipates between 75 to 150 cargo vans per day, each delivering within a 40-minute radius between 10 AM and 8 PM, in addition to 12 to 20 long haul trucks each night. They plan to hire 100 to 300 full-time employees and 200 to 450 seasonal, contracted delivery drivers.

We’ve shared Amazon’s plans as we’ve learned of them, but the community has continued to ask questions and express concerns in anticipation of a community meeting. In an effort to compile these concerns to help shape our conversations with Amazon, LC and LU created a survey detailing Amazon’s plans to date and asking members of our community to share their initial thoughts.

The response has been staggering. In just a couple of months, the survey has garnered nearly 300 responses. Consistent with community plans calling for industrial site reuse compatible with social and environmental goals, the majority have said that they do not support Amazon moving into the former Sears Warehouse, with many expressing concerns related to traffic and mobility impairments, air pollution, and harsh working conditions, to name a few.

Now, Amazon is ready to hear directly from you. On Tuesday, June 1st at 6:30 PM, LC and LU will host a community meeting with Amazon via Zoom, where the community will have the opportunity to hear Amazon’s plans, ask questions, and express their concerns.

If all goes as planned for Amazon, the distribution center will be in operation by the end of the year. Empowered by our survey respondents (submit your response at bit.ly/Amazon15201) and your voice and attendance at the upcoming community meeting, we will do our best to ensure that future development at this site is in line with community priorities.

Register for the community meeting at bit.ly/AmazonLV to join the conversation on Tuesday, June 1st at 6:30 PM. If you have any questions or need help accessing the meeting, email info@LUnited.org or call (412) 802-7220. The first segment of the meeting will also be streamed at facebook.com/lawrenceville.pittsburgh

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