Sunset Park is about to get a big delivery.
Amazon will open a distribution center at Liberty View Industrial Plaza. The online sales giant inked a seven-year lease for an undisclosed chunk of the massive industrial building, according to real estate watchers the Real Deal. The center could bring a ton of new jobs to the area, but some Sunset Parkers question the potential quality, given Amazon’s less-than-stellar labor reputation, one workforce advocate said.
“We’d like to know what the local employment impact would be, especially owing to a number of different reports about unfair labor practices at Amazon facilities,” said Ryan Chavez of local environmental justice group Uprose.
Reports of inadequate ventilation, overworked employees, and unfair firings at distribution centers have dogged the company since 2010.
Four former delivery drivers with Amazon’s “Prime Now” service in southern California sued the retailer in October, alleging Amazon illegally classified them independent contractors to deny them pay and benefits.
Chavez also worries about the impact Amazon delivery trucks will make motoring through residential areas every day.
“Sunset Park is already home to a number of different industrial facilities that depend on trucks,” said Chavez. “Amazon will have to address the environmental and public health impacts their trucks could have on the community.”
Amazon joins a handful of tenants at Liberty View — a mixed retail and manufacturing building with enough floor area to house all of Sunset Park’s eponymous green space with a few feet to spare. Home goods purveyors Bed Bath & Beyond, electronics retailer Micro Center, and treat-makers Kopper Chocolate all lease space there. And Saks Fifth Avenue recently signed a letter of intent to open a discount store.