Amazon back in the mix in Slavic Village

The delivery station on Madison Avenue in Cudell is the only Amazon distribution center in the city of Cleveland.

For now this west-side facility on Madison Avenue in the Cudell neighborhood is the only Amazon delivery station located in the city of Cleveland. That could change in the next year or two as the e-commerce giant is reportedly rekindling plans for a distribution center in Slavic Village (DiGeronimo). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Delivery station to anchor warehouse complex

Amazon is reportedly pivoting to a new site for a distribution center on the southeast side of the city yet would remain in Slavic Village, according to two sources familiar with the project. The e-commerce giant will apparently be the anchor for a new warehouse development reported exclusively by NEOtrans on a 40-acre site that could grow further if additional properties around the fringes are added to it.

The site, between the east side of Interstate 77 and East 55th Street, is owned by trucking firm Morabito Enterprises Inc. It intends to sell the bulk storage facility to Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial Group to develop with two or three separate warehouse structures totaling 500,000 square feet. The most recent site plan options for the warehouse development, called Commerce Park 77, circulated by Stonemont’s real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), each show only two buildings totaling less than 500,000 square feet.

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Nearly two years ago, Amazon had considered locating in another Slavic Village development site on the west side of I-77. That location, the Job Ready Site in the Cuyahoga Valley Industrial Center (CVIC), would have hosted a 112,000-square-foot Amazon delivery station to be called DCL6 (the sixth Delivery Center CLeveland). But Amazon favored development of a 123,355-square-foot facility, now under construction at a former drive-in movie theater site on Memphis Avenue in suburban Brooklyn.

Site plan for Commerce Park 77 in Cleveland's Slavic Village.

One of two publicly shared site plans for the proposed Commerce Park 77 warehouse development. However, NEOtrans has learned a third variation offering three separate buildings and totaling about 500,000 square feet is under consideration (JLL).

The 40-acre plot in the CVIC is under consideration for Cuyahoga County’s new consolidated jail facility, or for relocating a container shipping yard to open up another potential jail site near the main post office closer to downtown. Both of those options have met with opposition from Cleveland City Council, led by Ward 12 Councilwoman Rebecca Maurer.

But Amazon hasn’t given up on building a distribution center on the city’s southeast side. Actually, Amazon doesn’t build or even own its distribution centers. All of them are built and owned by others including Stonemont, Siegfried USA, Scannell Properties, Weston Inc. and more. And, in this case, the site is being assembled by a third party — a partnership of Morabito and Slavic Village Development, a nonprofit community development corporation.

James Greene, the city’s commissioner of neighborhood development, said Morabito intends to continue using its property until at least the end of this year. Their latest acquisition was the 1.273-acre site of the former Mound Elementary School on Mound Avenue at East 55th. Acquisition of that vacant parcel for $38,000 by the Morabito-Slavic Village Development partnership won approval in November from the City Planning Commission.

Another site plan for Commerce Park 77 in Cleveland's Slavic Village.

Another conceptual site plan for the proposed Commerce Park 77 development showing two more equally sized warehouse structures on the roughly 40-acre site (JLL).

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“This type of land assembly is consistent to other prior-year goals that the city has exercised to incite future development,” Greene said. “Examples of that would include Upper Chester and Opportunity Corridor. In both of those examples, multiple partners controlled aggregated land holdings in partnership to spur development that took place.”

Additional properties are being sought to give Stonemont greater flexibility in placing large structures and parking areas for workers and trucks on the site. That may include acquiring more than a dozen mostly vacant residential parcels north of Mound as well as vacating Eliza Avenue plus portions of East 53rd and 54th streets. The Morabito site was re-platted by the county at the end of December as a single parcel that also removed several dead street rights of way through the site, including for a portion of East 52nd Street and the entirety of Morgana Avenue.

However, even if the Morabito land transferred today, it will still take up to two years to level the site, install new sanitary and storm sewers, electrical and communications lines, access roads, parking lots and construct new buildings for Amazon and other as-yet unidentified tenants. But the demand for light-industrial and logistic/shipping facilities in Greater Cleveland exceeds supply.

Amazon has some really big warehouses in the Greater Cleveland area including this one in North Randall.

Some of Amazon’s distribution centers in Greater Cleveland, such as the North Randall Fulfillment Center seen here, are truly massive structures. And several of these facilities, like North Randall’s, are built on the sites of former shopping malls to which Amazon and other e-commerce businesses helped contribute to their demised (ClayCo).

Much of that demand has been provided by the growth in e-commerce. In just the last few years, Amazon has leased these new “Delivery Center CLeveland” facilities to serve the Greater Cleveland market:

  • CLE1 – 2020 Euclid Ave, Cleveland (Hub Locker)
  • CLE2 – 21500 Emery Rd, North Randall, 855,000 SF
  • CLE3 – 1155 Babbitt Rd, Euclid 850,000 SF
  • CLE4 – 2550 Columbus Road NE, Canton, 1 million SF
  • CLE5 – 8685 Independence Pkwy, Twinsburg 248,000 SF

There are also these Amazon delivery stations, which is what the Slavic Village facility would reportedly be:

  • DCL1 – 26555 Bluestone Blvd., Euclid, 127,020 SF
  • DCL2 – 2823 Gilchrist Rd., Akron, 640,000 SF
  • DCL3 – 12111 Debartolo Dr., North Jackson, 43,200 SF
  • DCL4 – 24800 Miles Rd., Warrensville Hts., 145,200 SF
  • DCL5 – 2040 S Reynolds Rd., Toledo, 150,000 SF
  • DCL6 – 10575 Memphis Ave., Brooklyn, 123,366 SF
  • DCL7 -10801 Madison Ave., Cleveland, 168,750 SF

Slavic Village Development Executive Director Chris Alvarado acknowledged that he is working with Morabito on land assembly for a future end user but declined to identify the buyer/developer. However Stonemont is identified in JLL’s marketing materials for the site.

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