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Amazon withdraws plans for South Boston warehouse

An attorney for Amazon told the Zoning Board of Appeal this week it's withdrawing its plans for a new "last mile" distribution center along a strip of Dorchester Avenue in South Boston where the city had been hoping developers would build large amounts of housing.

Attorney Joseph Hanley asked the board on Tuesday to formally deny the proposal - which the BPDA board voted in September to oppose - without prejudice, which would let Amazon come back with a similar proposal for its land along Dorchester Avenue at Alger Street within a year. But the board voted instead to straight out deny the proposal, which means Amazon and Core would have to wait at least a year to come back with another warehouse plan in a swath identified by the BPDA as primed for massive residential development.

One zoning-board member went even further. Mark Erlich said if Amazon does try to build a similar warehouse elsewhere in Boston, it better come prepared to explain its record on worker safety and pay and how it plans to address the devastation of neighborhood businesses he said the retail giant is causing. He pointed to death of workers on Amazon projects in Kentucky and Virginia and complaints about a lack of PPE and a speed up of required work during the pandemic at existing Amazon warehouses.

"I just would appreciate it if Mr. Hanley tells his clients that if they're gonna come back with another location, they better come back with an explanation of why their business model may or may not be consistent with what the expectation in Boston is for community standards," he said.

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Comments

YAY! That area should be primarily housing and small retail, as was originally planned.

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the story is full errors first Mark Erlich is a.carpenter former head of the carpenters union not an architect. Second only amazon must wait to come back not Core. The property is.fully zoned as a.warehouse. The varience was for additional.parking not for warehouse use which it is and can be at any time without zba or bpda approval.

Especially on Erlich. I called him an architect because he replaced Anthony Pisani (who, yes, indeed, was an architect) as the board member who reviews plans to see if they pass muster before they're voted on. But I stand corrected on that.

Core might indeed be able to build a simple warehouse there as of right, but given what Amazon was proposing, I really doubt they're going to come back with something similar given the board's rather firm denial of all that parking the Amazon distribution center wanted.

Mark Erlich did not replace Anthony Pasini ... do your homework. He was on the board with Anthony!!

Yes, he did replace Pisani as the board member assigned to looking over plans to determine if they're adequate or not. Which is what I wrote.

Just Saying.

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No matter what anyone may think about his politics, Councillor Kelly saw years ago that the conversion of all industrial land in South Boston to condos was not such a good thing. He actually tried to draw the line at Old Colony Avenue. Mark Erlich doesn't have an original thought in his head. Polly Want a Cracker?

Public health and community standards still apply to industry. Amazon does not abide by them. Bottom line. Well done in holding the line.

About time someone asked Amazon to account for the way they treat their employees!

Aw, who needed those jobs anyway.