Attention Johnston! Your Amazon facility has been shipped

Drone images offer bird's eye view of 'the project on the hill'


“I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues."

"Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."

“The Lorax,” Dr. Seuss, published in 1971

The cranes stand at attention — sharp, pointed monoliths of “progress.”

The metal skeleton has taken shape, forming the profile of what promises to be the largest building ever constructed in Rhode Island.

Amazon has refused to give tours of the construction site looming on Johnston’s horizon.

“We are in the very early stages of construction at this site,” said Caitlin McLaughlin, Amazon Public Relations New England. “There are no photos at this time. We would love to do a hard hat tour with you closer to the completion date which is scheduled for second half of 2023.”

In the meantime, the Johnston Sun Rise has agreed to publish aerial photography submissions, captured by a drone pilot, to give our readers a better sense of progress at the formerly wooded hilltop along Route 6, near its intersection with Interstate 295.

Trevor Bryan, an FAA Licensed and insured drone pilot, the owner and operator of New England Aerial Services (a Warwick- based Residential Real Estate Drone Service Provider), captured a series of breathtaking images from high above the construction site on May 15.

The loss of green hits you first — and then the overwhelming scale of the building.

Amazon has been erecting its six-story retail distribution facility. The building’s ground floor will ultimately cover approximately 823,522 square feet, and the facility will eventually cover a total area of approximately 3,864,972 square feet.

Critics of the project sounded alarm bells over the inevitable loss of wildlife habitat in town. Project proponents, however, welcomed an influx of jobs (both construction jobs before opening, and warehouse jobs after) and an injection of tax payments.

Only time will tell if the financial benefits outweigh the environmental detriments.

FROM THE AIR: These images of the Amazon construction site in Johnston were captured by drones piloted by Trevor Bryan, an FAA Licensed and insured drone pilot, the owner and operator of New England Aerial Services, on May 15. For more information on the Warwick-based company, visit their Facebook page at (Photos courtesy New England Aerial Services)


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