MONTGOMERY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It has been almost a year since the collapse of the big Amazon headquarters deal in Queens.
Now some people in the northern suburbs hope history repeats.
They’re suing to stop an Amazon warehouse project that could bring 600 jobs to Orange County, CBSN New York’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.
On the west end of the town of Montgomery, trucks loaded with goods from big warehouses roll along Neelytown Road, past sign after sign announcing “We’re hiring.”
“Every warehouse out there has help wanted signs out. So we don’t need more,” said Beverly Mertz, member of the group Residents Protecting Montgomery.
The group says Montgomery doesn’t need a massive warehouse on the east side of town.
A 1 million square-foot Amazon fulfillment center has been proposed for the land off Route 747.
“Up to 500 cars an hour going past my entrance. My tenants won’t be able to enter or exit,” property owner Barbara Lerner said.
Lerner said she doesn’t oppose business development. She owns an industrial building adjacent to the proposed Amazon site. Her lawsuits claim the project doesn’t comply with local zoning, and will threaten the environment and quality of life.
“Coming off Route 84, it will give the appearance that Montgomery has nothing other than warehouses. It completely changes the nature of the town,” Lerner said.
But others say the 100-acre site is literally “Amazon prime.” It’s situated right off the exit onto Route 747, which was built by the state to improve access to Stewart Airport.
“It is the prime location to move cargo, to move products. This is a prime location for this kind of growth,” said Maureen Halahan of the nonprofit Orange County Partnership.
Some told Aiello it’s hard to ignore the dollars Amazon will bring to the area.
“$476 million in economic impact, both direct and indirect, at a cost of about $18 million and change in incentives,” said Bill Fioravanti, Orange County’s economic development director.
Amazon is one of 11 distribution centers of various sizes proposed for development at the location.
But some in Montgomery are growing wary of the warehouse business.
The developer has scaled back a request for economic incentives for the project. The local development authority is expected to review the proposal in two weeks.