Amazon is, in fact, behind a drive-up grocery store under construction in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, new permitting information filed with the city shows.
GeekWire reported in August on the plans for the drive-up grocery, referred to in permit documents under the mysterious moniker “Project X.” All signs pointed to Amazon, specifically the project description that almost exactly matches the language in permit documents for Amazon drive-up grocery stores planned in the San Francisco Bay Area. But Amazon had given no official confirmation of the project, nor had its name shown up in any permitting documents, and even the people building the structure didn’t know what was going on.
But Thursday, a “post-issuance submittal” filed with the city of Seattle contained this description: “storage racks insulation plans on main floor for Amazon.” So there you have it.
We reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Ware Malcomb, the same architect that designed Amazon’s planned drive up grocery stores in the Bay Area as well as its Prime Now delivery hub in Seattle is listed as the architect on the project. Here is how the business, which lets customers pick up groceries they’ve ordered online, works, according to planning documents from the city of Seattle:
When placing an online order, customers will schedule a specific 15-minute to two-hour pick up window. Peak time slots will sell out, which will help manage traffic flow within the customer parking adjacent to the building. When picking up purchased items, customers can either drive into a designated parking area with eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars or they can walk into the retail area to pick up their items. Customers will also be able to walk into the retail room to place orders on a tablet. Walk in customers will have their products delivered to them in the retail room.
Hours of operation are expected to be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. At peak time, there will be approximately 15 employees working on site, and three to five people will be dedicated to bringing orders out to parked cars. About a quarter of all trips are expected to occur between 5 and 7:30 p.m. The average wait time is expected to be about five minutes.
The move represents further commitment to the brick and mortar realm for the online shopping giant. Amazon opened its first physical bookstore at the University Village shopping center in Seattle late last year. Amazon has also confirmed three other stores in San Diego, Portland and Chicago.
Amazon has been quietly opening pop-up retail locations in major malls throughout the U.S. A website for the stores shows 21 locations in 12 states, and the online retail giant could have as many as 100 locations nationwide by next year.