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Amazon not building massive warehouse on Grand Island following community backlash

WBFO news file

In the face of several uncertainties, the developer behind the proposed Amazon warehouse on Grand Island is pulling the project.

This news comes a week after Amazon and the developer behind the project, Trammell Crow, faced community backlash at a public hearing. The $300-plus million project drew the ire of protestors who raised concerns over potential harm to the environment, air pollution and traffic congestion.

"We feel it would have serious, detrimental impacts to our environment, environmentally sensitive islands, and many other reasons that all of us have voiced to our town government," Coalition for Responsible Economic Development for Grand Island spokesperson Cathy Rayhill said. "And it's possible that they just really don't want to swim against the tide."

Rayhill helped gather nearly 2000 signatures in opposition to the project last week. She said their grassroots efforts started on July 1.

"I think it's very clear to them that the people of Grand Island do not feel this fits here. And we feel there are much more appropriate sites in Western New York in the greater Buffalo area," Rayhill said. "That would be a win-win situation for Erie County and the surrounding areas."

The facility was estimated to have a $31 million payroll and potentially brought in $51 million in property tax revenue over its first 15 years.

Rayhill said they are willing to consider any development that makes sense for their community.

"If it fits with our comprehensive plan and does not deviate so massively from our current code restrictions," she said. "We would absolutely welcome those types of things."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released a statement calling Amazon’s withdrawal an unfortunate development.  He added his team is prepared to work with Amazon to identify another location in the region. 

The town had planned to discuss the matter at a public hearing Thursday night. That meeting is now cancelled.


Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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