WALLINGFORD — Construction has started on an Amazon Logistics warehouse and distribution center on South Cherry Street.
Town building official Justin Rossetti said building permits have been taken out for interior work on the 83,754 square foot vacant warehouse at 425 S. Cherry St. The warehouse, built in 1963, previously served as a storage facility for Stop & Shop before being rented out as storage for a variety of tenants.
The parking lot to the south of the 7.6-acre parcel is being expanded. The building is also accessible from Ball Street and Pent Road.
“There's no increase in the footprint, the only excavation you see there is to accommodate that parking,” Rossetti said.
The delivery vans entering and leaving the new facility will largely travel to Interstate-91 via Route 5, according to Rossetti.
“In theory there should be very little traffic (added) to local streets,” he said.
The permits do not include a construction timeline. However, Rossetti said Amazon is looking to have the facility operational “as soon as possible.”
The number of vehicles that will be coming in and out of the site was a topic of concern for the Planning and Zoning Commission, which approved the proposal on May 11after delaying deliberations for a revised traffic impact study.
Tractor-trailer trucks will deliver packages from Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers to the South Cherry Street distribution center to be sorted by zip code for delivery by contractors using vans and personal vehicles to cover the “last mile delivery.” Amazon operates a sorting center on Research Parkway in Wallingford and a fulfillment center in North Haven.
The revised traffic study the commission reviewed projected a ceiling of 275 delivery service partners entering and exiting the facility daily during peak delivery seasons, including the Christmas shopping season.
Outside of peak seasons, approximately 130 vans would depart between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and return between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. with any non-deliverable packages. The window for vehicles arriving at the facility to pick up packages would be expanded to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during peak seasons.
Amazon Logistics anticipates about eight tractor-trailers will deliver packages to South Cherry Street, primarily between 10:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. Van loading would be primarily between 12:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., with about 125 Amazon workers entering and leaving.
Kermit Hua, owner of KWH Enterprises and peer reviewer for the commission, recommended new stop signs at the intersection of Pent Road and Ball Street. He also recommended improvements to the junction of Route 5 and John Street to lessen the impact of tractor-trailers turning left onto John Street, specifically a left-hand turning lane.
Staff reporter Lauren Takores contributed to this story.