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Amazon Inks Biggest U.S. Lease — 4.1M SF — In Inland Empire

A photo of the area in Ontario where the Prologis project is planned.

Amazon has set a personal record, signing its biggest U.S. lease to date for 4.1M SF in Ontario, California, about 40 miles east of Downtown LA.

The lease was inked in the first quarter of 2022. The deal, disclosed in a CBRE report obtained by The Real Deal, did not name the development or the owner of the project, but Prologis is the only developer working on a project of that size. The five-story warehouse on Merrill Avenue near the Chino Airport is scheduled to open next year, The Real Deal said. 

Amazon has already planted a flag in this part of Ontario: The company has a distribution center across the street in the Watson Industrial Park, owned by the Carson-based Watson Land Co.  

The massive lease is interesting because Amazon has been moving away from leases and toward owning its own properties, especially for bigger properties, Bisnow has reported.

The Prologis project where Amazon reportedly signed on will create as much as 7M SF of industrial space and 1.4M SF of business park space, environmental documents show. The project will occupy over 370 acres that were previously agricultural, largely dairy farming. 

Locking down space for large distribution centers mostly requires inking deals in under-development projects because existing space is quite scarce. The average industrial vacancy in Southern California is 1.6%, a Savills report released earlier this month shows. The Inland Empire's east and west submarkets are both below that average.