Major eCommerce Business to Provide Jobs to Staten Islanders
In 1928, the Gulf Oil Company acquired a large tract of land on the West Shore of Staten Island, which was soon nicknamed “Gulfport.” There, the company began to erect an oil storage terminal, which would exist for seventy years before finally shutting down. The storage tanks were soon demolished, but the facility lived on through Gulf Avenue, a nearby street. It wasn’t until 2004 that major plans were underway to utilize the vacant site. This time, it would be for a NASCAR racetrack. After much opposition, the plans eventually fell through and it was uncertain what would become of the large tract of land in the area now known as Bloomfield.
In recent years, a portion of the land was acquired by New Jersey’s Matrix Development Group, who set out to create Matrix Global Logistics Park. This industrial park will contain warehouses to be leased by businesses. Their plan was to attract eCommerce businesses—and attract them they did. Sure, there are a number of us who prefer the human interaction of shopping in a physical building, but let’s face it—online shopping has become quite popular over the years and there’s no wonder why. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to wander around dozens of stores, looking for that one specific item. Sometimes, you can’t even make it to the stores because you’re sitting in rush hour traffic. Online shopping has taken the footwork out of the equation, making it more convenient for us all to purchase those last-minute birthday gifts that can be delivered straight to your friend’s door in a matter of days.
On September 6th of 2017, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Amazon had agreed to expand their business not just in the State of New York, but into our very own Staten Island. Within Matrix Global Logistics Park, Amazon plans to house an 855,000 square foot fulfillment center in one of the park’s warehouse buildings. The fact that the site is convenient for shipping, rail, and highway access was definitely a selling point. It sits just below the first exit off of the Goethals Bridge, which crosses over the Arthur Kill into Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The Amazon fulfillment center, which is said to be open by next fall, is expected to employ roughly 2,250 full-time workers, who will receive competitive pay and benefits. These employees will work side-by-side with Amazon Robotics’ robots to complete Amazon orders. This news is great for Staten Islanders in many ways. Not only will it mean more jobs, but those jobs will be close to home, so residents won’t have to worry about sitting in much traffic or paying tolls to travel into New Jersey or one of the other boroughs for work. This is a time saver and a money saver. Now let’s see if they wind up building that West Shore Light Rail to make it even easier for residents to get to and from work.