Amazon buys SW Side property for $35 million

The online retailer’s acquisition of the Central Steel & Wire site signals one of its biggest expansions in the Chicago area.

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A portion of the Central Steel & Wire site at 3000 W. 51st St.

A portion of the Central Steel & Wire site at 3000 W. 51st St.


Amazon has purchased a 70-acre steel fabricating plant on the city’s Southwest Side for $35 million, completing one of its biggest land deals in the Chicago area.

Property records show the online retailer bought the Central Steel & Wire plant at 3000 W. 51st St. in June. “It will be an Amazon delivery station that will be launching in the next few years. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023,” said Amazon spokeswoman Caitlin Polochak.

The steel company, owned by Chicago-based Ryerson Holding, will remain on the site in a sale-leaseback, Polochak said, but she had no details on terms. Messages left with Ryerson and Central Steel were not returned Wednesday.

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Amazon has gobbled up industrial space in the Chicago region. It operates a distribution hub at 3507 W. 51st St., just west of the Central Steel property, that has been a site of labor unrest over wages and work rules. In April, the company fended off a union organizing drive in Alabama, but since then the Teamsters union has said it intends to organize workers at Amazon sites.

Polochak said Amazon’s holdings in Illinois include nine fulfillment centers and eight delivery stations. In the Amazon network, fulfillment centers are larger operations. It is building two more in Matteson and Markham.

The company said it employs 36,000 full- and part-timers in Illinois. Its businesses in the state include 28 Whole Foods and seven Amazon Go stores.

Central Steel said on its website that it has operated on 51st Street since 1937, with facilities totaling 1.4 million square feet. The company was sold to Ryerson in 2018 for $150.8 million.

Ryerson has been trimming its real estate holdings. In June, it announced sales of properties in 10 states for an aggregate $107 million, while leasing them for 15 years, with two five-year renewal options.

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