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Amazon going big in New Mexico, records show

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Amazon’s arrival in New Mexico may actually be a bigger deal than originally stated – at least in terms of sheer physical size.

When the e-commerce company confirmed last week that it is building a fulfillment center in Bernalillo County, it described the facility as measuring 465,000 square feet. But public records show the warehouse – described as Project Chico in some official filings – may actually be five times larger than that.

The five-story building will have an “area of footprint” of 2.58 million square feet, according to the building permit application filed with the county and obtained by the Journal through a public records request.

The area of footprint is the usable floor area, according to Enrico Gradi, deputy county manager for community services.

“This is probably one of the bigger buildings, if not the biggest, in the state,” Gradi said.

For context, 2.58 million square feet is about the size of 14 Walmart Supercenters.

An Amazon spokesperson told the Journal the 465,000-square-foot figure represented the building’s footprint but didn’t immediately respond to a question about the facility’s total usable square footage. She said she did not know what project would cost.

The building permit application also values the construction work at $190 million, though that is a formula-based estimate and not necessarily the same number the county assessor would use, Gradi said.

Construction of the Amazon warehouse has begun near Atrisco Vista and Interstate 40, an industrial area already home to Tempur-Pedic and FedEx.

It is being developed by Arizona-based BH DevCo. Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. will serve as the general contractor.

Documents list California-based HPA Inc. as the architect.

Amazon has said the center – which has not received any state economic development incentives – should open by late 2021 and will employ 1,000.

BRIGHT SPOT: The city of Albuquerque is basking in the glow of a new solar energy ranking.

New Mexico’s largest city has the third-most photovoltaic solar generating capacity installed per capita among 70 large American cities surveyed, according to a new study from the Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.

The only cities with higher per capita PV capacity are Honolulu and San Diego, according to the report.

Jessica Dyer: jdyer@abqjournal.com

 

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