Amazon comes to Abington

Retail giant establishes presence in town

The ginormous distribution network that fuels the world’s largest retailer now includes a stop in Abington.

Amazon has signed a lease with South Shore Terminals, a longtime trucking hub located on Route 18. More than two dozen tractor-trailers could be seen on the site on a recent morning.

An official with South Shore Terminals declined to comment about Amazon’s presence at the site beyond calling them a “tenant.” He referred additional questions to Amazon, which did not respond to multiple requests for information.

The 63,000-square-foot facility was built in 1955 on a nine-acre site at 1431 Bedford St.

Signing Amazon as a tenant did not require the terminal owners to seek any municipal sign off as the facility is located in the part of town zoned for Industrial uses, which includes trucking terminals, and sits on a state highway.

It is unknown whether either Amazon or South Shore Terminals has any plans to expand the facility, or convert it into a distribution hub. Neither company has sought any permits required for construction or renovations, according to the Abington Building Department.

Town Manager Scott Lambiase said he is not aware of any future expansion or development plans for the facility.

Abington News spoke with multiple Summit Road residents who said the Amazon tractor-trailers have become frequent users of the road as a cut through between Rt. 18 and Rt. 139 — especially during periods of heavy work on the Rt. 18 widening project.

Summit Road resident Russ Fuller re recently sent a letter to Deputy Chief Chris Cutter asking for the police department’s help cutting down both on the number of tractor-trailers using Summit, and the speed at which they’re traveling.

“We understand that traffic increases should be expected during the Route 18 work, but these trucks should not be using Summit Road as a primary route, whether or not construction is active,” Fuller wrote.

The new lease could result in some additional tax dollars for Abington. Unlike residential properties, which are valued for property tax purposes solely on the condition of the structures on the site, commercial tax valuations also take into consideration income-producing capabilities, according to Deputy Assessor Jolanta Briffett. If the business is now producing more income, the property valuation could subsequently be increased resulting in additional commercial tax revenue. If Amazon or South Shore Terminals adds new equipment to the facility, that could also increase the site’s personal property tax bill.

The property was assessed at more than $2.9 million in 2017, but that amount was reduced to just under $2 million in 2018 and 2019.

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