Recology just sold its 900 7th Street waste maintenance facility to Amazon, who plan to make it a six-acre distribution facility in San Francisco.
E-commerce giant and aspiring surveillance menace Amazon is considered more of a Seattle company than a Silicon Valley company, but does actually have a significant footprint in the Bay Area. The Chronicle reported last year that Amazon has “more high-paying Amazon jobs than anywhere besides Seattle,” with 7,000 office workers in SF, Palo Alto, and East Palo Alto, and god-knows-how-many delivery and warehouse workers. Amazon also owns SF-based streaming/gamer thingy Twitch, which has another 1,500 employees. Now Amazon hopes for an even bigger Bay Area presence, as the Chronicle reports this morning that Amazon has bought a six-acre Recology facility for $200 million, with hopes of turning what is currently a waste management facility into a delivery warehouse site.
As Socketsite explains, with far better maps than the one above, the site is at 7th and Berry Streets across from the southern tip of Mission Bay. A previous plan to put 1,000 units of housing on top of office and warehouse space is now scrapped, and Amazon’s plans for height (57 feet) and use (PDR, or Production, Distribution and Repair) are completely within the neighborhood’s zoning rules. And honestly, San Francisco probably needs jobs more than it needs housing at this particular moment.
“We are excited to make this investment in San Francisco that will create jobs and help ensure we can reliably and efficiently deliver to our growing number of customers in the Bay Area,” Amazon director of operations Michelle Godwin-Watts said in a statement to the San Francisco Business Times. “We are committed to being a good community partner and we will continue to engage with the city and community members as we develop this new site.”
Like many a tech behemoth, Amazon is doing fabulously while the overall economy tanks. They have hired 400,000 people just during the pandemic, and the company is now the second-largest employer in the U.S. behind Walmart. But the Mission Bay site would be a “last-mile” delivery facility, where Amazon workers generally get horrible treatment, COVID-19 outbreaks, and find themselves peeing in water bottles so they can make their demanding quotas.
The new delivery center may mean more Amazon trucks on our city streets, which may become the new tech buses that are enduring symbols of income inequality and techsploitation. Amazon’s ruinous effect on small business is well-documented, and the COVID-19 track record with its Whole Foods subsidiary is nothing to be proud of. SF Public Press just uncovered more creepy Ring camera public surveillance plans afoot in the Mission, and the company is testing its self-driving taxis in SF, which may not end well. But the SF Board of Supervisors has not been an Amazon pushover the way some municipalities have, so City Hall may get their proper pound of flesh out of the company before permits and approvals are issued.
And it is nice, in this economy, to see a tech company that really wants to be in San Francisco, instead of throwing hissy fits and moving to Texas when not given carte blanche on tax breaks and regulatory carve-outs.
Image: Google Street View