A former Kmart shopping center in Bakersfield is slated to become an Amazon distribution hub and the e-commerce giant’s second warehouse development in Kern County.
City records show a 123,000-square-foot warehouse proposed at the site would receive and sort six truckloads of consumer goods per day. Products would then be loaded onto 20 delivery vans and shipped out for local delivery.
The city’s Board of Zoning Adjustment in September approved a conditional-use permit to convert the existing, 50-year-old building into a distribution warehouse. Nowhere in materials filed with the city is Amazon mentioned, and a city official said the operator’s name had not been disclosed.
But Amazon has been identified as the operator, according to a representative of one of the small businesses ordered by the property’s owner to vacate the site to make room for the new project.
Amazon was similarly stealthy when it was in early stages of developing the much larger “fulfillment center” the Seattle-based company recently opened just north of Meadows Field Airport. In that case, county officials considering the project were unaware the nation’s most valuable retailer was behind it.