"We're still processing the news and trying to wait on more information," said David Breingan, the executive director of Lawrenceville UnitedBy Paul Martino

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Amazon wants to bring a distribution center to Lawrenceville at the old Sears Outlet building.

Some community groups are concerned about Amazon’s impact on Lawrenceville.

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The coronavirus pandemic has meant big business for Amazon as shoppers stay at home and purchase online. So the company is expanding, bringing a last-mile warehouse to Pittsburgh for local deliveries. It has caught some by surprise.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“We’re still processing the news and trying to wait on more information,” said David Breingan, the executive director of Lawrenceville United. “We know about as much as has been in the news.”

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Community groups had already negotiated with another high-tech developer who was promising neighborhood improvements for the former Sears property, including traffic control and a riverfront trail. Now there are fears Amazon will abandon those plans.

“We spent a lot of time on the previous proposal for the site, negotiating community benefits,” said Breingan. “Everything from public riverfront access to improvements to public infrastructure.”

But Amazon appears to be listening. In a statement, the company told KDKA’s Paul Martino that:

Amazon strives to be a great neighbor.

We always work with local community leaders prior to launching.

(We) ensure our site does not disrupt the community.

(Amazon) staggers breaks to avoid rush hour.

(Amazon) works directly with our delivery partners, neighbors and other stakeholders to help manage traffic.

We’re thrilled to be joining the community and creating great jobs.

“We want to make sure that local hiring gets prioritized, and that some of our more disadvantaged residents get first crack at any jobs that are available,” Breingan said.

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A meeting is set for next week between Amazon and the community groups.