Amazon eyes old Ford Talbotville factory site for local mega-hub –

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Amazon eyes old Ford Talbotville factory site for local mega-hub – fr


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Amazon.com to open two warehouses in London, but several Free Press sources say the e-commerce giant is considering whether to set up a massive sorting and distribution center at the former assembly plant site as well. Ford in Talbotville.

Amazon has leased two warehouses in London that will each employ around 100 workers, the company said on Wednesday.

But a much larger movement may be looming.

There are talks that Broccolini Construction in Toronto is investigating the former assembly plant site on Highway 4 south of Highway 401 for major development and is in talks with Southwold Township officials. to buy the land, sources said.

Broccolini, who could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, has built nine warehouse, sorting and distribution centers in Quebec and Ontario for Amazon, according to its website.

The old Ford assembly plant in Talbotville. It has been vacant for almost a decade. File photo

“Amazon is a dynamic company and we are constantly exploring new locations and evaluating various factors when deciding where to develop future sites to better serve customers; however, it is our policy not to comment on our future roadmap and do not yet comment on specific plans of operations for Talbotville. Stay tuned, ”read an email from Vanessa Pontes, spokesperson for Amazon Canada.

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Area officials have confirmed talks are underway between Southwold Township and Amazon builders.

“There has been a lot of talk about the fact that they are close to a sale of this property. This could be very positive news for this area, ”said one person familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lisa Higgs, Southwold’s top bureaucrat, said matters relating to this site are “strictly confidential,” adding, “We would like to see development on this site. Hope there will be news soon. “

The Ford plant closed in 2011 after 44 years of assembling cars and about 1,100 people lost their jobs when it closed. The factory on 254 hectares of land was demolished in 2015. The site was put up for sale that year for $ 22.75 million.

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As for the warehouses, one of them is under construction by Dancor Construction at Huron Street and Robins Hill Road and PCL Construction is renovating a second site at 580 Industrial Rd.

“We are very happy to grow up in London. The city has a strategic location with a strong customer base and we look forward to being part of the community, ”said Pontes.

Usine Ford de Talbotville, 1972. (London Free Press files)

In addition to the 200 warehouse workers at the two locations, Amazon will employ 130 drivers, she said.

The Huron Street warehouse will have charging stations for electric delivery vehicles and infrastructure to add solar panels, said Sean Ford, managing partner at Dancor.

“I understand they want to be in London. It’s amazing that they come here, ”said Ford.

Ford is not aware of the possibility that Amazon could add a larger Fulfillment and Packaging Center, but this fits a model of adding a Fulfillment Center in cities where it has space. warehouse.

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“It’s their model. They build distribution centers and warehouses. This is how they grow up, ”said Ford.

In the Amazon model, products are sent to fulfillment centers, packaged, sent to warehouses and then delivered to customers.

Over the years, several developments have been linked to the former Ford site, including Blueforest Ventures Inc. of Waterloo, which proposed to build a green energy and agrifood development. Railmark, of Wixom, Mich., Wanted to build a rail and road transportation hub. In 2015, Capstone Infrastructure offered a $ 75 million solar farm on the site.

Sean Dyke, general manager of economic development for St. Thomas, declined to comment on Amazon’s interest in the field, but is not surprised that it is gaining attention.

“No matter who invests there, it’s a beautiful site, the best industrial site available in Ontario,” said Dyke.

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