An attorney for Amazon told the Zoning Board of Appeal this week it's withdrawing its plans for a new "last mile" distribution center along a strip of Dorchester Avenue in South Boston where the city had been hoping developers would build large amounts of housing.
Attorney Joseph Hanley asked the board on Tuesday to formally deny the proposal - which the BPDA board voted in September to oppose - without prejudice, which would let Amazon come back with a similar proposal for its land along Dorchester Avenue at Alger Street within a year. But the board voted instead to straight out deny the proposal, which means Amazon and Core would have to wait at least a year to come back with another warehouse plan in a swath identified by the BPDA as primed for massive residential development.
One zoning-board member went even further. Mark Erlich said if Amazon does try to build a similar warehouse elsewhere in Boston, it better come prepared to explain its record on worker safety and pay and how it plans to address the devastation of neighborhood businesses he said the retail giant is causing. He pointed to death of workers on Amazon projects in Kentucky and Virginia and complaints about a lack of PPE and a speed up of required work during the pandemic at existing Amazon warehouses.
"I just would appreciate it if Mr. Hanley tells his clients that if they're gonna come back with another location, they better come back with an explanation of why their business model may or may not be consistent with what the expectation in Boston is for community standards," he said.