A lease between the city of Colorado Springs and Amazon shows that the online giant has bigger plans for the Springs, including the conversion of a temporary facility that opened in November into a permanent delivery station that could employ several hundred workers.
The lease, that was signed in August and began Sept. 1, allows Amazon to use a site at the Colorado Springs Airport for “erecting, furnishing, equipping and maintaining” a modular delivery center for “receiving, assembling, shipping, distributing, preparing and selling products, materials, food, grocery and liquor items.” The property is south of the airport’s passenger terminal near rental car facilities.
Amazon’s expansion to the Springs comes as the company grows its footprint across Colorado and nationwide to get merchandise to customers more quickly, sometimes within two hours. To speed deliveries in Colorado, the company opened a robot-aided distribution center in Thornton last summer with plans for up to 1,500 employees.
Amazon employs more than 2,000 statewide at the Thornton center, a sorting center near Denver International Airport, another delivery station in Aurora, an engineering operation in Boulder focused on digital advertising and cloud computing, and a retail store in Park Meadows mall.
The Gazette obtained the new information through a Colorado Open Records Act request for the lease, which covers 4 acres at 7704 Milton E. Proby Parkway, where Amazon.com Services opened a 17,000-square-foot temporary facility in November with 150 employees. Amazon is paying $10,000 a month for the land through March 31, 2020.
Amazon opened the temporary station at the airport as the final step in delivering merchandise to customers through either companies or individuals under contract to make deliveries for Amazon, spokeswoman Amanda Ip told The Gazette in November. She declined then to discuss plans for a permanent facility.
However, a paragraph in the lease allows Amazon to extend the lease for two years if it signs a lease or development agreement for a new facility of at least 50,000 square feet in the airport’s Peak Innovation Business Park.
The city’s Planning & Community Development Department approved plans last month from TC Pursuit Services for a 66,780-square-foot building in the business park at 4303 Grinnell Blvd. that is listed as a “proposed delivery station.” A building permit is pending.
TC Pursuit Services is in real estate giant Trammell Crow Co.’s downtown Denver office. Trammell Crow has marketed and developed property around the nation where Amazon has built distribution centers, including a 2.4-million-square-foot facility on 80 acres in Thornton.
Shone Jemmott, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in an email she could not confirm the company’s expansion plans.
Jeff Greene, chief of staff for Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement on the temporary delivery station and the project in the business park.
The proposed delivery station would be built on one of two parcels in Peak Innovation Business Park that the Colorado Springs City Council agreed in November to sell to a Fortune 500 company for a pair of warehouse-distribution facilities that would generate a “significant” number of jobs, according to information presented to council members. During discussion of the sale, Councilman Bill Murray referenced Amazon as a possible user of the distribution facilities.
No plans have been submitted for the second, larger parcel in the park.