Worcester Board Approves Amazon Facility, Despite Opposition

Amazon is proposing a 121,000-square-foot distribution center on the site of the Greendale Mall and the facility would be demolished

Greendale Mall Sign File
NBC10 Boston/NECN

Worcester's planning board has approved a site plan for the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the Greendale Mall as an Amazon "last mile" distribution center, despite concerns from neighbors about traffic, environmental impacts and noise.

Board members on Wednesday said they didn't want to invalidate neighborhood concerns, but they could only consider a narrow range of factors defined by the site plan review process, according to The Telegram & Gazette.

Board members and city planning officials reminded residents the online retail giant's proposed distribution center is allowed under zoning rules.

Amazon is launching a new shared network called Sidewalk, letting some people with its products know they'd been opted in to the program automatically.

Amazon officials have said the site is scheduled to come online in late 2022 or early 2023.

Opponents of the facility said Amazon has misled other communities where it has built similar facilities about traffic impacts in particular. Residents took issue with Amazon's traffic estimates, which include 18 tractor-trailer trips overnight.

Residents said that could increase to 30 at peak holiday times.

Jessica Schumer, an Amazon representative, said the 30 or so truck trips cited as peak holiday traffic would be about capacity for the site and any more demand would not be pushed through the site.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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