In a 21st century reboot of the 20th century icon, the downtown post office on Georgia Street may be repurposed into office and commercial space for Amazon. It’s a perfect transition for the Amazon model with fulfillment centres that requires trucking bays, easy access on and off the downtown peninsula and a location that employees can easily access by public transportation. The post office has 686,000 square feet and occupies an entire block. The biggest fulfillment centre in Amazon’s stable is in Baltimore Maryland and cover one million square feet.
In this article by John Mackin, “Real-estate sources say the online retail giant wants to add a million square feet of office and commercial space downtown, part of an expansion to double the Vancouver Amazon workforce to 2,000 people by 2020.”
The Vancouver post office was built in 1958 in the International Modern style by the same architects that designed the iconic Marine Building. The post office’s interiors have two storey ceilings and over two stories of parking. Local historian and author John Atkin astutely surmised ““It was built as a processing and distribution centre. So you had trucks come in, trucks go out, sorting, and big open spaces, so that you could run complex postal-sorting machines and conveyor belts, and all that stuff. So you have almost the perfect existing structure waiting there for a firm that would do stuff like Amazon, which is product in and product out.”
There was a rezoning application for towers submitted for the site three years ago but that has been put on hold according to the City. In its potential adoption of the downtown Vancouver post office, Amazon gains a distribution centre in the middle of a downtown market boasting the most population density in Canada.The Amazon remorphing of the post office also opens up opportunities for other archiac post offices across the country that could be repurposed for local distribution centres.