‘Last Mile’ Amazon and UPS Hubs Raise Concerns in Brooklyn Enclave

The small waterfront community of Red Hook, in Brooklyn, is home to a cruise terminal, a 346,000-square-foot Ikea store and one of two Tesla showrooms in New York City.

Some residents say they have managed to coexist with a variety of large commercial footprints but have concerns about two future neighbors. Amazon . com Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc. both have plans for package-and-delivery hubs in the area to keep up with skyrocketing e-commerce demand. Other package-distribution sites in the area could be on the way, according to local elected officials.

“Industry is not something we are afraid of in Red Hook, but the last-mile delivery is a whole other issue,” said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood and is a longtime resident. “There’s real terror about what could happen here.”

Last-mile delivery is the crucial final step in getting packages from a distribution center, where goods come in, to the customer. With the explosion of online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and increased demand for same-day or even two-hour delivery services, the placement of delivery hubs closer to the millions of homes they serve in New York City has become a key competitive edge in e-commerce.

Construction is currently under way in Red Hook for two Amazon last-mile delivery stations totaling more than 600,000 square feet, according to the company. The retailer said it would bring hundreds of jobs to the area and is committed to using electric vehicles in coming years. UPS is planning a 1.2-million-square-foot facility on 12 acres of waterfront property in the neighborhood.

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