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Amazon Backs Out Of Plan To Occupy West Covina Last-Mile Delivery Center

A conceptual rendering of the last-mile delivery facility.

Amazon has backed out of its plan to occupy a last-mile delivery station planned at a former church site in West Covina

The property owner, Greenlaw Partners, confirmed it is on the hunt for another industrial tenant for the roughly 177K SF project, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported

Greenlaw paid $58.5M for the site this month, The Real Deal reported. Amazon was expected to have a 12-year lease at the project that has yet to begin construction, the Tribune previously reported.

“It is common for us to explore multiple locations simultaneously and adjust based on our operational needs,” Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll told the Tribune in a statement.

The company will “continue to assess opportunities to invest and grow across the region,” Carroll added. 

The project, described in environmental documents as a “light warehousing and distribution operation with approximately 250 employees,” is approved and entitled. 

Last month, Amazon said it was slowing down what had been very aggressive warehouse growth nationally. The retail giant has also made a noticeable shift from leasing its warehouse properties to owning them

The project was the subject of a lawsuit against Greenlaw Partners and the city of West Covina that was settled earlier this month, the Tribune said. The suit, brought by two Teamsters chapters and the groups People's Collective for Environmental Justice and West Covina Alliance for Responsible Development claimed the project approvals violated the California Environmental Quality Act and local planning and zoning guidelines. 

As part of the settlement, Greenlaw agreed to a number of measures aimed at mitigating the environmental effects of the development, including using 100% renewable energy at the site by 2025 and building so-called green buffers and landscaping between the site and the nearby homes. 

Environmental concerns about these facilities, especially from residents who would neighbor them, have become a regular part of the discussions surrounding their permitting and approvals throughout Southern California. 

Greenlaw and Amazon do a lot of business together throughout Southern California. In October, Greenlaw sold a 228K SF warehouse in Simi Valley where Amazon was a tenant, The Real Deal reported at the time. In November, Amazon bought a Brea call center from Greenlaw Partners and Cerebus Capital Management for $165M with plans to turn the 639K SF property into a distribution center.