Amazon pauses work on proposed San Francisco warehouse after city supervisors vote on delivery moratorium – San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton delivers remarks during a Tuesday press conference at Civic Center Plaza that included labor and community coalition members who urged passage of temporary moratorium legislation on Amazon and other parcel delivery service facilities in San Francisco.
Amazon said Tuesday it will pause work on a proposed last-mile warehouse in San Francisco’s Showplace Square after the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation that placed an 18-month moratorium on all new parcel delivery services in the city.
In a statement a company spokesman said, “We will continue to evaluate our long-term use of the site, and in the short-term we will work with our neighbors to look at ways to use the location to serve the community.”
The company’s announcement came after the board voted 10-0 to back the moratorium, which was crafted in part as a response to Amazon’s plan to build a 725,000 square foot warehouse at 900 7th St.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin recused himself from the vote because he owns stock in Amazon.
While the board didn’t discuss the legislation at Tuesday’s meeting, the vote was preceded by a fiery rally in front of City Hall at which organized labor, environmental watchdogs, and residents of San Francisco’s southeast neighborhoods denounced Amazon’s expansion plans.
With an 18-wheeler emblazoned with a “Teamster” banner as a backdrop, Jason Rabinowitz, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, said “the type of jobs we don’t need to have are the Amazon style poverty jobs that are underpaid, unsafe, include no rights at work.”
“Good jobs uplift our community,” he said. “Amazon style poverty jobs drag us all down.”
Folks attend a press conference at Civic Center Plaza that urged passage of temporary moratorium legislation on Amazon and other parcel delivery service facilities in San Francisco.
Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, who represents the neighborhood where the logistics center would be located, said that if Amazon wants to build in the district it will have to negotiate a community benefits package similar to deals struck with major waterfront developers.
“You can go and ask Pier 70. You can ask the (Potrero) Power Station. If you are going to come into our neighborhoods you are going to talk to the people in the neighborhood. You are going to provide them with community benefits,” he said.
The legislation passage is a big win for a broad coalition of organized labor, including the Teamsters, the United Commercial Food Workers, Service Employees International Union and the Building Trades Council.
Jim Araby, strategic campaign director with the United Food & Commercial Workers, said the legislation would “Create the process necessary to hold large corporations like Amazon accountable to the community, the workers and the elected officials.”
“This legislation is the first step to make sure there is an actual process, that you can’t just plop down a 700,000 square foot in the middle of a community and say we are going to buy you off with five dollars and an ice tea,” he said.
J.K. Dineen is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @sfjkdineen
J.K. Dineen joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014, focusing on real estate development for the metro group, a beat that includes land use, housing, neighborhoods, the port, retail, and city parks. Prior to joining The Chronicle, he worked for the San Francisco Business Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Daily News, and a bunch of newspapers in his native Massachusetts, including the Salem Evening News and the MetroWest Daily News.
He is the author of two books: Here Tomorrow, about historic preservation in California (Heyday, 2013); and the forthcoming High Spirits (Heyday 2015), a book of essays about legacy bars of San Francisco.
A graduate of Macalester College, Dineen was a member of Teach For America’s inaugural class and taught sixth grade in Brooklyn, N.Y.


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