Online retail giant Amazon is coming to Newark Liberty International Airport, in a move that’s expected to bring an added 1,000 jobs over the next two decades.
Under a 20-year lease that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – which owns Newark airport – signed Aug. 5, Amazon will spend $125 million to redevelop two aging airport buildings into a 250,000-square-foot air cargo campus.
Amazon is paying the bi-state agency $150 million up front, and another $157 million in rent over the next 20 years, the Port Authority said.
That means nothing comes out of the Port Authority’s pockets to pay for the development, agency officials assured.
“This will be a regional hub on the East Coast,” Rick Cotton, Port Authority executive director, said Aug. 5.
Kevin O’Toole, the agency’s board chair, estimated the airport workforce could expand by as much as 5% under the move.
Under the agreement, Amazon would agree to hire minority-owned businesses for at least 20% of the construction, architectural and engineering, activity, 10% for women-owned businesses and 3% for veteran-owned businesses.
Airports up and down the state had been pummeled by travel closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All told, the travel industry is expected to take years to fully reach pre-pandemic levels.
Amazon initially shortlisted Newark – where most of the airport is located – as the site of its second major headquarters. The state put up billions of dollars in potential tax breaks for the e-commerce giant, which ultimately selected the Washington, D.C. suburbs.