Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials announced July 7 that a controversial Amazon project to build a new air cargo facility at Newark Liberty International Airport has collapsed.
The deal was sharply criticized by local activists following last August’s announcement that the Port Authority and Amazon were negotiating a 20-year lease to transform two existing buildings into a 250,000-square-foot global air freight terminal in Newark.
“On Aug. 5, 2021, following a publicly advertised request for proposals and the submission and evaluation of proposals, the Board of Commissioners authorized the Executive Directory to enter into exclusive negotiations for a lease with Amazon for the development of existing cargo buildings at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Huntley Lawrence in a statement.
While the project was opposed by Newark and Elizabeth residents and activists who said it would create further pollution impacting the surrounding communities, proponents argued it would create 1,000 jobs and significant economic impact for the area.
“Over the past year, the Port Authority and Amazon have engaged in good-faith negotiations,” Lawrence continued in his statement. “Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon have been unable to reach an agreement on final lease terms and mutually concluded that further negotiations will not resolve the outstanding issues.”
“After months of good faith negotiations with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, we’re disappointed to report that we’ve been unable to reach a final deal for the regional air hub at Newark Liberty International Airport,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said in a statement.
“The growth of air cargo and the redevelopment of airport facilities in a manner that benefits the region as well as the local community remain a top priority of the Port Authority,” said Lawrence. “Moving forward, the Agency will examine options and determine the best future utilization of these cargo facilities.”
“Despite this outcome, we value our relationship with the Port Authority, and we’re proud of our robust presence in New Jersey and look forward to continued investments in the state,” said Boschetti.