Amazon ships itself a modular office building, puts it up in Haifa parking lot

Interim digs will house 300 workers until a permanent structure is completed in MATAM tech park, which is also home to Google, Yahoo, IBM and Microsoft

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

A bird's eye view of MATAM, Haifa's premier technology park where Amazon Israel will be located (CC BY 3.0)
A bird's eye view of MATAM, Haifa's premier technology park where Amazon Israel will be located (CC BY 3.0)

There’s still no confirmation about when or even whether Amazon will begin full operations in Israel, but the mammoth online retailer has been stocking up on office leases.

Besides leasing space in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona Tower, it also pre-leased an entire 12,000-square meter building currently under construction at MATAM, a technology park that also houses Google, Yahoo, Intel, Microsoft and other local giants.

In the meantime, Amazon is building temporary offices on an external parking lot of MATAM.

“There’s literally no available space in MATAM,” said Larry Garner, who heads the corporate services department of Cushman & Wakefield’s Israel affiliate, Inter Israel. “They got express permits from the city and erected an entire building of a few thousand square meters in a day or two. Otherwise, they would have no place to put their people until the new building is ready.”

Illustrative: A United Parcel Service driver delivers packages from in Palo Alto, California (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

According to Garner, some 300 Amazon staff members will be housed in the new office building. 

After receiving the necessary permits in just over three months from MATAM and the Haifa municipality, Amazon built a temporary modular structure of 3,210 square meters in a factory over the course of three weeks. The structure was then sent in 30 trucks to the MATAM site, and assembled in three days.

“It was the first project of its kind in the country,” said Garner, adding that Y. Bandel Project Management had handled the project.

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