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Amazon Officially Selects Long Island City for New Headquarters, Will Build Around Anable Basin

via Amazon

Nov. 13, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Amazon officially announced today that it has selected Long Island City as one of two locations for its new headquarters, with plans to bring its operations to sites around Anable Basin.

The e-commerce giant, as part of the announcement, released its agreement with the city and state that outlines must-haves and other parameters related to the headquarters’ planned buildout. Details like approximate square footage of the headquarters, job creation and workforce development, and other site uses around the basin are included in the agreement.

Amazon will initially develop and operate approximately 4 million square feet of new corporate headquarters in several lots from 46th and 44th Road and between Vernon Boulevard and the East River.

The lots are a mix of private and city-owned properties that were all slated for major rezonings and development. The private lots are owned by Plaxall, a large plastics manufacturing company that put out plans last year for an eight-building, 5,000 unit project around the basin.

The city, meanwhile, had plans to bring tech and manufacturing jobs in its sites, along with 1,000 apartments and a public school.

The DOE premises, additionally, were once offered up for organizations to develop a life science and research center there.

Amazon headquarter location in Long Island City

Along with the initial headquarter space comes the creation of 25,000 new jobs, with an average salary of over $150,000, over the course of 10 years.

Amazon, however, eventually plans on operating out of 8 million square feet of space around the basin, which is expected to result in up to 40,000 new jobs within 15 years.

While details on how many buildings and their sizes have yet to be put through, Amazon’s plan will begin with the construction of new headquarters in at least 1.5 million square feet of the publicly-owned sites.

And while not listed in the agreement, Amazon will also be temporarily moving into virtually all of One Court Square, which Citi previously said it would be vacating out in 2020, while it builds out the campus.

Amazon is also committing to bringing features like a 10,000 square foot workforce development and training space, roughly 150,000 square feet of public open space and a waterfront esplanade, community and artists work areas, either an elementary or middle school, and light manufacturing space in its development plan.

Some of the listed features, however, will not necessarily be built in the basin area.

The company has also agreed to partly fund infrastructure improvements outside of the headquarter space, but still within Long Island City. The city, however, will receive the funds and decide how to use them for infrastructure needs in the neighborhood.

Other project details include a helipad, for Amazon use only, to be built either within or near the headquarters.

The company, along with the city and state, will also invest a combined $15 million to fund workforce development initiatives relating to HQ2. The initiatives target students and workers, with programs focusing on NYCHA residents and public high school students.

Amazon, additionally, will hold or participate in events at the Queensbridge Houses such as job fairs and resume workshops, to better promote employment opportunities to tenants there.

As far as state tax incentives, Amazon is set to receive a whopping $1.525 billion over the next decade, based on the jobs it creates each year and as it nears its headquarter buildout. But other state and city programs, credits and incentives can push the subsudies given to Amazon to around $3 billion.

Existing Anable Basin waterfront, where Amazon will move into (Plaxall)

The state, in its part, will be creating a “General Project Plan,” as reported in prior articles leading up to Amazon’s announcement, with the goal of rezoning the basin to bring the development plan and its parameters about.

The state, in doing so, will not require City Council or other city public approvals for the project, but will instead be subject to non-binding recommendations from the public.

It is unclear when the GPP will be submitted, although the agreement lists the project’s start date at January 2019, and completion around 2033. Amazon, additionally, has said the total project will cost an estimated $3.7 billion.

The company also said it will begin hiring for the Long Island City headquarters in 2019, with about 700 jobs offered that year. By the end of 2024 about 15,900 jobs are expected to be filled, with the entire 25,000 jobs placed by the end of 2028.

Amazon’s official announcement comes on the heels of a “No to Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City” rally planned for tomorrow morning near the development sites and organized by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and other community groups.

Both politicians, while initially favorable to Amazon in Long Island City last year, have denounced the company’s future presence in the area due to the state’s hushed proceedings and the $1.5 billion in tax breaks being handed to Amazon.

“We are witness to a cynical game in which Amazon duped New York into offering unprecedented amounts of tax dollars to one of the wealthiest companies on Earth for a promise of jobs that would represent less than 3 percent of the jobs typically created in our city over a 10 year period,” both electeds said in a joint statement released today.

Other politicians have also spoken out against the project. Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the lack of engagement and exclusion of the city council in negotiations are both troubling, while Congressmember-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said she has received many phone calls from outraged Queens residents about the plan, and called the deal “concerning.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who once joked that he would change his name to “Amazon Cuomo” to lure the company to New York, said in a statement that the company’s move to the area delivers on the state’s promises of economic growth.

“New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history,” Cuomo said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also said in a statement that he is in support of Amazon in Long Island City, and nodded to continued infrastructure improvements in the area.

“The City and State are working closely together to make sure Amazon’s expansion is planned smartly, and to ensure this fast growing neighborhood has the transportation, schools, and infrastructure it needs,” he said.

Amazon also announced that it would locate half of its HQ2 headquarters in Arlington, Va., and a small operations center in Nashville.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come.”

The company will be receiving $573 million in performance-based direct incentives to be in Arlington, while also providing 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000.

Amazon said it selected Long Island City in part because of its transit access and growing community where “arts and industry intersect.”

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45 Comments

A local

Seattle’s last corporate export at least provided free wifi & clean bathrooms for use of space poor residents. Will this one do even that much for the locals?

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Richie Hawtin

Remember when people were calling Diblasio a socialist?

Anyway, free the big homie Sammy be be home soon keep yer head up
D block double r let’s gk

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Mark

What sense does it make to build a headquarters right next to the river in an epoch of climate change?

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Mary F

Yes, it will be brutal. However, the apartment units, in what I fondly call, “The Wall O’ Walls” are already built and must be filled. That they not be rotting away turning to slums is a consideration. I would have loved it if they never had been built, but they have been. Now, it’s time to make sure there is a reason for people to live in them. This could be a good thing if people can simply walk down to Amazon.

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Alma de Cubano

Andrew Cuomo shares one thing in common with the orange moron in the whitehouse: anything he says is bullshit.

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OAR

Facebook and Google are adding 20,000+ jobs in Manhattan and they are doing it without public subsidies, why can’t Amazon?

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John O'Reilly

And Jimmy was also all in for Joe Crowley and against the bike lanes before his epiphany a/k/a “I’m termed limited and need to get elected to another office”.

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JAMES EDSTROM

Joe Crowley was a good friend to Jimmy Van Bramer. Whe Crowley lost, he jumped over the the other side for all the TV action. Hid did the same thing with Cynthia Nixon. Just a media whore, thats our Jimmy!

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Henry

JVB is a whining child. Rather than screaming his temper tantrum he should use the remainder of his time on the City Council to make sure that there is money directed towards infrastructure development. Ocasio-Cortez is (as it turns out) another pouting whiner. I regret my vote for both.

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OAR

Actually, Van Bramer, Gianaris, and all elected officials except for Cuomo and Di Blasio were left in the dark about the negotiations. That was one of Amazon’s requirements. This was all done in secret. The residents, city council and the community board will have no part in the plans. Exactly how they did the Atlantic Yards and Hudson Yards. Plaxall was also involved in the deal since it is their land that will be purchased.

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JAMES EDSTROM

Do you buy a car or a house without knowing the details? They knew there would be perks, they sent the letter without knowing the perks? Cuomo announced there would be tax breaks etc, they knew this. Now if they sent this letter before they knew the details, then they are not capable to do their job. Would any of you support a plan before you knew the details? Would any of you buy a car or house without knowing the details? Van Bramer and cronies are just playing for media attention, this is a done deal, they know this, but you all know Van Bramer loves his media attention more that the people who elected him. Hey, Van Bramer even blocks residents complaints on his Twitter page and then blocks them from seeing his page. Wasn’t Trump ordered not to do this, elected officials are not allowed to block us the courts ruled.

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Gardens Watcher

This area is within the 12th Congressional district, which is Carolyn Maloney’s turf, not AOC’s. So why did NBC feature AOC’s picture and comments about this on NBC national news tonight? Nolan statement got it right on this one, but JVB & MG are tone deaf or are just following AOC’s lead.

This project is about big time job creation, not just real estate luxury housing. That is a big difference. It’s served by lots of subway lines too, not just the 7 line.

This story should also be up on the Sunnyside Post.

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nobody

WHAT train is gonna get there other than the 7? Please tell me, cuz you’re spreading straight up lies

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Gardens Watcher

Hey nobody, grab a subway map. Court Square has the E, M & G trains. The LIRR is close too. So is the water taxi. Easy walks to all and a new bus route or a campus shuttle between buildings would probably make it even easier. No lie.

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John C

Sitting 2 blocks away is a disused LIRR passenger terminal right on Borden Ave. Tracks go styrofoam Jamaica. Used for only freight lately. Used to do both. Do any of our elected grandstanding politicians even know this ? Doubt it.

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Name

The E and G. The N,W, and R aren’t far, Amazon will likely have a shuttle bus for employees.

While not a train, the ferry is right there as well.

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MRLIC

This is not good for the current and future residents of LIC. You think it is crowded on Public Transportation now? Wait until everything is supposed to be built that was planned without thinking in LIC. Can the Amazon employees afford the RENTS which are high now and may go UP? BAD FOR LIC,

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Anonymous

Many of them will end up living in the area with the development going on in the past few years being enough, as well as the continued developments which have been proposed. They will also build the tram railway going from LIC to Astoria where many of these people will choose to live also because of the less expensive rent they’ll find as opposed to the heart of LIC. Many ofnthese employees will opt for Uber to commute and the ferry going to Midtown and Brooklyn. This will in turn keep a balance on the train capacities. New York City has been growing rapidly for the past 100 hundred years and it always finds a way. Whenever there is money involved there is always a solution.

#ManyOptionsAvailable

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JAMES EDSTROM

What bull. First of all the ferry is already packed in the mornings. By the time it gets to Hunters Point and LIC, there is no room for more passengers. The subways are over packed already. They claim people will earn 120 thousand. More BULL! Really, they will be mostly low paying jobs, look at what Amazon did in Seattle. The Tram will never happen and if it doe, won’t be for 25 years. And low paid workers can not afford Uber. What the hell are you smoking anyway? You have to be a real estate person, plain and simple.

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Name

I take the ferry everyday and there absolutely is room. Not only that, there is room to add more ferries to the East River, which they’ve been doing and are sure to do in the next 5 to 10 years as this project takes shape!

Seriously, all the complainers on here just sound like cry babies because their neighborhood is changing and they’re bitter they’re not getting a cut.

I’m sorry YOUR vision of LIC isn’t coming to fruition. If you loved it so much, you should’ve bought it up in the 90s and kept it the worthless wasteland of warehouses it had been for decades.

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Mary F

Yes, it will be brutal. However, the apartment units, in what I fondly call, “The Wall O’ Walls” are already built and must be filled. That they not be rotting away turning to slums is a consideration. I would have loved it if they never had been built, but they have been. Now, it’s time to make sure there is a reason for people to live in them. This could be a good thing if people can simply walk down to Amazon.

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FromLICQueens

As a LIC resident, I am thrilled about this! Hurrah for Cuomo and De Blasio. Smart and great for LIC and New Yorkers.

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I wonder

Hey I’ve got a question, will Amazon be contributing to the park along the east river? I thought eventually it was to connect all the way down to Astoria? Or will it be a “private park”?

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Paul

Local businesses should not have any reason to get excited. Your food still sucks. Even with Jetblue, Citigroup, CUNY Law, La Guardia, PS1, the future home of Bloomingdale, and many more, restaurants are still suffering. What makes you think Amazon will save them? They will have their own cafeteria with the gourmet chef. So unless you want some of their future employees to help the neighborhood, you got to help them, help you! Improve the food, improve the quality, and bring on the McDonalds.

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Jerry Laveroni

Owners/Developers like TFC here who currently controls via their development 2,500 apartments — Rockrose controls 1000-rents need to be under rent control

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LICfly

Really JVB? A rally to protest capital investment in the neighborhood?! I guess you will do anything for a photo op, you ham!

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John Q. Public

The funny thing is that the Amazon HQ will be finished long before the bunker library on Center Boulevard is complete.

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Frank

So one company, Amazon, might account for 3% of new jobs created in the City? How is this not impressive in a good way? This is just sour grapes for JVB because he didn’t get a taste of the graft associated with this project.

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