The capital region of British Columbia will be seeing an influx of Amazon delivery vans shortly, as the tech behemoth's new 7.8-acre last-mile delivery station at the Victoria International Airport has now completed construction.

The Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) announced in August 2021 that it was approving York Realty's proposal to build the new delivery station, with the Edmonton-based York Realty announcing Amazon as the tenant.

The delivery station is located on 9899 McDonald Park Road, on the outskirts of Victoria International Airport (YYJ), in the town of Sidney.

Construction then immediately began the month after the announcement, with it slated to finish in Fall 2022. This past July, the Victoria Airport Authority said construction on the facility was at 75% completion. Last week, the Authority said construction had completed and that occupancy will start in early December.

The 115,000 sq. ft facility reportedly cost $65M, and has been described as "state-of-the-art."

One key feature of the building is its 100kW solar array, which would reduce C02 by two tonnes, annually -- the equivalent of 7,311 km driven, 680 L of diesel, and 2 acres of forest, the airport authority said.

The development has actually had to undergo significant design changes, in response to public comments received following presentation of the project to the Town of Sidney. According to the VAA, those changes including removing the second level of the facility (reducing the space from the original 500,000 sq. ft), re-alignment of access points, and an emphasis on façade design and landscaping.

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Victoria international airport yyj york realty amazon distribution centre 2

Victoria international airport yyj york realty amazon distribution centre 4Amazon YYJ delivery station renderings. (Victoria Airport Authority / York Realty)

Additionally, the project was a collaboration with the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Leadership Council. Bands of the Saanich include the Tseycum First Nation (W̱SÍḴEM), Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), and Tsawout First Nation (SȾÁ,UTW̱), all of whom York Realty is working with to incorporate design and art elements into the building's exterior.

The facility will also have minimal exterior lighting, complying with the VAA's "Dark Sky" guideline, which -- according to the VAA's 2020 Development Guidelines -- mandates that exterior lighting "be located, orientated and shielded so as to not adversely affect adjacent sites, or interfere with Airport operations."

Also noteworthy is the focus on not impacting existing traffic in the area. According to the VAA, delivery dispatch schedules for the Amazon delivery station have been intentionally proposed for off-peak hours (9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) to avoid morning and late-afternoon traffic.

Victoria international airport yyj york realty amazon distribution centre 3Amazon YYJ delivery station rendering. (Victoria Airport Authority / York Realty)

“It is our hope that, with Amazon as a sub-tenant, the new delivery station will serve as a significant economic generator for the region,” said York Realty's President, Matt Woolsey, when the project was announced. At the very least, this new delivery station is expected to bring $900,000 in annual property tax revenue, the VAA says.

Amazon "last-mile" delivery stations receive packages from Amazon's fulfillment centres before sorting and packing them and sending them out for delivery, and this new delivery station will strengthen the fast and efficient delivery that Amazon is known for. Deliveries from the station will be sourced out to contractors. Job listings indicate that Zzenzen Logistics will be one of those contractors at this facility.

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Just a few months prior to last year's announcement of this delivery station in Victoria, Amazon announced that it was launching five new facilities across British Columbia. Those five included a 450,000 sq. ft robotics fulfill centre in Vancouver, a sort centre in Langley City, and delivery stations in Langley Township, Pitt Meadows, and Delta.

Amazon's most high-profile building in BC, however, is of course its takeover of the old Canada Post building in downtown Vancouver. With over 1.13 million sq. ft of space, the building, owned by QuadReal Property Group, is set to become the largest office building in Vancouver. The Post is set to complete in two phases, with the first coming in Q1 2023 and the second in Q3.