Amazon bid to put cargo hub at Newark airport is grounded

July 7, 2022 GMT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Amazon’s plans to put a regional cargo hub at Newark Liberty International Airport have been grounded.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport’s operator, said in a statement Thursday that negotiations over the past year have failed to produce an agreement with the global shipper and retailer.

“Over the past year, the Port Authority and Amazon have engaged in good-faith negotiations,” Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Huntley Lawrence said in the statement. “Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon have been unable to reach an agreement on final lease terms and mutually concluded that further negotiations will not resolve the outstanding issues.”

Last August, the Port Authority’s board approved negotiations on a 20-year lease for two 1990s-era buildings at the airport that Amazon was to redevelop into a state-of-the-art, 250,000-square-foot (23,225-square-meter) air cargo campus.

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At the time, it was estimated the redevelopment alone would cost Amazon $125 million. The company would have paid $150 million as an initial payment and $157 million in rent over the next two decades. The facility was to have opened next year.

Through a spokesperson, Amazon said it was disappointed about the failure to reach an agreement and was reviewing alternative locations for a cargo hub, but didn’t specify where.

Some labor and environmental groups and local officials had opposed the plans, claiming the hub would have increased congestion in a lower-income area already burdened with truck traffic from nearby Port Newark. They also had criticized Amazon’s working conditions for its employees.