BATAVIA – E-commerce is dramatically changing how people shop for products.
Internet-driven businesses allow buyers to select and pay for their purchases with a few mouse clicks or cell phone taps, and find the merchandise delivered to their doorsteps as quickly as the next day.
Now, e-commerce is influencing the design of new structures intended to provide a home for web-based businesses.
A striking example is about to take shape in Batavia’s far northeast side industrial park, where construction is underway on a 150,838 warehouse, distribution and office building specifically tailored to accommodate e-commerce businesses.
“This building is built for e-commerce and the internet,” said developer James Coxworth of Cratos Industrial Properties in St. Charles. “The internet is driving things today.”
The mammoth, 41-foot-tall structure is being constructed at the southwest corner of East Fabyan Parkway and Louis Bork Parkway, were it will enjoy a high-visibility location along one of the city’s gateways.
“I’m pleased a building of this magnitude and enhanced design will be located at a major entryway into Batavia,” Mayor Jeff Schielke said.
The pre-cast concrete building’s architectural features earned plaudits from members of the Batavia Plan Commission, who recently reviewed and approved the project.
The construction schedule is ambitious, with the building expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of the year, Coxworth said. The building is designed to be subdivided to accommodate three companies, or could be home to one mega-business.
Most of the interior building space will be for warehousing, with a 32-foot-high ceiling providing plenty of clearance for racks of inventory. Plans call for 18 truck loading docks, but room for up to 33 is available, Coxworth said.
Entry to the property’s looping driveway running around the entire building will be from Louis Bork Drive.
Under the city of Batavia’s code, the building is required to have 151 parking spaces. But Coxworth anticipates that the facility will generate considerable job numbers, with perhaps 200 employees, and so plans call for 189 parking spaces in lots on the north and west sides of the property.
To help achieve this, the developer sought a variance from the city requirement for the number of grassy islands in the parking lots, from one green island for every 10 parking stalls to one per 15 parking spaces.
The Batavia City Council ultimately approved the variance, taking note of the considerable landscaping in the plans elsewhere on the property. Fifth Ward Alderman Abby Beck voted against the change.
Coxworth said the building is being pre-wired to accommodate up to 100 electric car-charging stations in the parking areas.