Large distribution center planned in Kenosha for Amazon.com

A 1 million-square-foot distribution center is planned for a site along I-94 and south of Burlington Road (County Highway S) in Kenosha for Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., according to commercial real estate industry sources.

The site is owned by Madison-based commercial real estate development firm Next/Partners Inc., which owns about 170 acres of vacant land there. Next/Partners plans to develop an industrial park on the site called the Kenosha Enterprise Park, said the firm’s president Phil Jennings. The property could eventually have a total of 1.5-1.8 million square feet of industrial space, he said.

A 1 million-square-foot distribution center has been proposed for the site, Jennings said. However, he declined to name the tenant for the proposed building.

“I can’t comment on that,” he said.

But commercial real estate sources say the tenant would be Amazon.com. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the project.

“We have a longstanding practice of not commenting on rumors or speculation,” said Amazon.com spokesperson Mary Osako.

The land is owned by Next/Partners but the developer for the 1 million-square-foot distribution center project is New York-based private equity firm KTR Capital Partners, said Brian Wilke, development coordinator for the city of Kenosha.

Wilke declined to provide details about the project. However, KTR has done several distribution center developments for Amazon.com including a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center in southern Indiana near Louisville, Ky. Earlier this year plans were announced for KTR to build a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Robbinsville, N.J. for Amazon.com.

Kenosha County has become a hotbed for industrial development and distribution centers, including several firms that have moved operations north from Illinois.

“Kenosha is very attractive for people doing large scale industrial development,” Jennings said.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc. considered building a distribution center on the Next/Partners site until deciding to acquire the 580,000-square-foot Supervalu Midwest Distribution Facility in Pleasant Prairie last year, Jennings said.

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