News Editorial Board
The giant internet retailer Amazon is back again, looking at Western New York after being chased out of Grand Island. As always, the project – now in Niagara County – needs to be carefully evaluated, but the goal should be to find a way to make this work, not to thwart it.
Two years after the Grand Island plan collapsed in the face of community opposition, Amazon is proposing a 3.08 million-square-foot warehouse in the Town of Niagara, just east of the City of Niagara Falls.
The company’s proposal is to build a five-story distribution center at 8995 Lockport Road, adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport and Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. The $300 million project would take in 216 acres of land and provide more than 1,000 permanent jobs and seasonal workers.
Those should be attractive possibilities to the town and county, though they need to be balanced against the complications that could accompany the project, including increased traffic and environmental concerns. They should be manageable; It’s the planners’ job to make them so.
The allure of this project goes beyond the jobs and tax revenue it could create, though they are surely attractive. In addition, though, Amazon is a world player. It’s going to be part of the economic landscape over the long haul; the Town of Niagara and the rest of Western New York should want a piece of that.