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Amazon May Snap Up Former Mitsubishi HQ In SoCal

E-commerce giant Amazon is planning to take over a site that formerly housed Mitsubishi Motors' headquarters in Southern California, according to city documents.

The city of Cypress last week sent out a public notice that it is preparing an environmental impact report for a possible Amazon distribution center at the corner of Katella Avenue and Holder Street.

Mitsubishi has already identified a buyer to purchase its current 22-acre campus at 6400 W. Katella Ave. in Cypress.
Mitsubishi Motors North America headquarters at 6400 West Katella Ave. in Cypress, Calif.

Rumors in the Northern Orange County community have been circulating for months about Amazon possibly taking over the former Mitsubishi site. The city's public notice confirmed it.

Industrial property REIT Duke Realty is the applicant in the proposed project. A Duke Realty spokeswoman told Bisnow that it is their company policy to not discuss any proposed transactions.

The city's public notice comes a year after Mitsubishi Motors, citing rising costs and better efficiency with its sister companies, Nissan and Renault, announced it would relocate its North American headquarters from Cypress to Franklin, Tennessee.

Mitsubishi later sold the office campus at 6400 West Katella Ave. to a limited liability company called GPD Cypress Investors for $57.5M, according to commercial real estate data site Reonomy. Mitsubishi had originally purchased the site for $9.2M in 1982.

According to the city's public notice, Duke plans to build a last mile logistics facility for Amazon. Duke also plans to demolish several buildings on the site, with the exception of a 145K SF warehouse and a 180K SF office building. 

City officials said the applicant plans to expand the site's parking area to accommodate the influx of employees, delivery vans and truck trailer offloading. The city will host a virtual public meeting about the proposed project on June 18. 

Citizens for Responsible Development of Cypress Director George Pardon told Bisnow that it will be interesting to see how the residents in the community respond to this kind of distribution center project. 

In 2013, residents in nearby cities protested against a planned Prologis distribution center on a 33-acre site next to the Los Alamitos Race CoursePrologis eventually abandoned the project after an ongoing uproar over traffic and quality-of-life impacts.  

Pardon said he plans to attend the virtual meeting and learn more about the size of the trucks and how many trucks will come in and out of the last mile facility. Katella Avenue is a main artery in North Orange County that can take drivers from Los Alamitos, Cypress to Anaheim and Villa Park. 

"One of the dilemmas and difficulties with this [Amazon] site is that the zoning and CUP (conditional use permit) will already permit this kind of use," Pardon said. "We'll see what kind of traffic ramifications this project could have in our city and the surrounding areas."