Nov. 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Long Island City will likely be home to part of Amazon’s second headquarters, according to a series of reports released yesterday.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported Monday that after a yearlong search for a single home for their second headquarters, the e-commerce giant has instead decided to split HQ2 between two areas—one in Long Island City, and the other in Crystal City, Va.
A total of 50,000 employees will reportedly make up the two locations, the reports say.
Amazon, however, has not publicly announced a final HQ2 decision, and reports continue to stress that the company is nearing deals to move to the two locations, but has not come to a final decision.
It is also unclear where in Long Island City the company would build out its headquarters. A definitive announcement will be made before the end of the year, although it could be made as soon as this week.
Executives from the Seattle-based company have apparently met with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo in recent weeks, with the state offering hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to incentivize Amazon.
At one point, Cuomo joked that he’d change his name to “Amazon Cuomo” and even rename the polluted Newtown Creek to “Amazon River” to win over the company in their HQ2 search.
Amazon, additionally, has toured Long Island City at least three times with city officials as part of its search. The tours included Citi Bike and NYC Ferry rides.
The news comes several months after New York City, along with hundreds of cities and municipalities in North America, submitted bids to the company after it announced its search for a second headquarters location.
Long Island City was one of four areas the city had highlighted in its bid. The city noted that the neighborhood has “over 13 million square feet of first-class real estate” in outlining total HQ2 campus potential there.
The area, according to the Long Island City Partnership, has 7 million square feet of commercial and industrial space with close to 4 million square feet of additional space to be built by 2020. Most of the existing office space provided in the numbers, however, has already been leased, the LICP said.
Amazon had said at the launch of its search that it would require 500,000 square feet of commercial space by 2019, and an additional 8 million square feet beyond 2027.
The available space for the project, according to Amazon, does not have to be contiguous, but should be close to one another “to foster a sense of place and be pedestrian-friendly.”
Amazon’s needs, coupled with its likely move into Long Island City, have raised questions about where exactly it would choose to build, with some even pointing to Sunnyside Yard as the only place to foster the massive headquarters.
The city is currently working out a master plan for the yard, but said any potential development over the 180-acre site would take decades to build out.
Amazon’s move, additionally, comes as the neighborhood has repeatedly voiced its concerns over infrastructure needs ranging from schools, transportation, sewer systems, open space, and beyond. The concerns, they say, stem from an influx of people moving into the area without proper preparation on behalf of the city. Continued development and rezonings, they add, only exacerbate the issues.
The city appeared to admit to Long Island City’s shortcomings when it released an investment strategy late last month, noting that it is working on several projects that will bring $180 million of infrastructure improvements to the community. Part of the report said rapid residential development resulting from the 2001 rezoning has strained neighborhood resources and the quality of life of residents.
It is not known, however, if Amazon will be investing in area infrastructure as part of its potential move to the neighborhood.
Council Member Jimmy said, however, that nothing has been decided just yet.
“HQ2 has to work for Queens, not just Amazon,” he said in a statement. “We already have an infrastructure deficit in LIC. We must ask how such a complex would impact the people who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. This isn’t a done deal. The local community must be heard here.”
Please come so I can sell my place and leave NYC.
Amazon & the LIC tech hub was in the making for many years.
2012 – JetBlue moves headquarters & 1,000 executives to LIC.
2016 – Bloomingdale’s opens office with 1,000 executives in LIC.
2017 – Estée Lauder opens office with 300 IT engineers in LIC.
2017 – Cornell tech (phase 1) opens campus & tech hub on Roosevelt island just across the river & minutes away by bridge & F train. It’ll have 2,000 students, 8,000 academics & incubate 600 tech companies.
Altice USA also moved their headquarters and a couple hundred staff to LIC last year.
20 years ago LIC was full of warehouses, stripjoints, topless hookers and junkies. Today it’s a tech hub. Gotta love NYC!
Did you live here 20 years ago? Are you spewing just BS? I was here 20 years ago. It is not quite the way you say it was. It was small townish and a much better place to live.
Please stop lying. I’ve been here longer than 20 years and LIC was the absolute worst neighborhood in northwestern queens. Astoria, Sunnyside and Maspeth were “small townish”. LIC was full of warehouses, strip joints, topless hookers waving down cars and junkies. Go tell your “small townish” lies to people that moved in after 2000.
A prediction: Amazon will place its headquarters in Anable Basin (soon to be renamed Amazon Basin) on city-owned (aka public) land where the defunct Waters Edge restaurant was in combo with the Plaxall Development. Great, highly visible, skyline location right across from Roosevelt Island and Cornell Tech.
High paying jobs for the people plus more tax revenue for the city. Sounds good to me.
We are basically giving them Corporate Welfare to come here, close to 3 Billion. What taxes?
NY is giving performance-based tax incentives, based on 25,000 full-time, high-paying jobs created, meaning they have to bring high paying jobs in order to get tax breaks. Amazon is also projected to generate tax revenue of more than $10 billion for NY which would be a net gain of over $7 billion. You are obviously I’ll-informed.
Jobs are good, but all of you people who don’t think this will SEVERELY affect quality of life are in denial. Look at Silicon Valley- inequality and homelessness through the roof.
Great news! And if Amazon can clean up Newtown Creek and make it safe and healthy for our kids, greater news!
The only people who should be excited about the jobs are those who can get them, which let’s be honest, isn’t anyone on this thread.
I personally won’t qualify for one of those Amazon jobs but I have two kids in college that will qualify in a few years. In addition to that, 25,000 high paying Amazon jobs will create at least another 10,000 additional jobs in restaurants, hotels, etc. That I do qualify for.
Where are tho restaurants and service jobs you speak of? Remember Amazon will have its own CAFETERIA I AM SURE !!!!!!!!!!
Thats great cause they can hire people like me to work in the cafe. Plus, I’m sure that many Amazonians will still frequent the local restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and use many local plumbers, electricians, etc. The employment multiplier.
31 yr old born & raised in Sunnyside with a background in I.T. I will gladly submit my resume.
Better start memorizing algos now. You’re already to old for an Amazon job.
I’m part of this thread and very excited about those potential jobs. I already work in the industry and currently commute to downtown from LIC.
If this goes as planned, LIC will become the next Silicon Valley. Between the 25,000 executive jobs by Amazon plus the new Cornell Tech University on Roosevelt island, the LIC area can easily become the next tech hub of America. Many other tech companies will follow and within 10 years we can have over 100,000 new high wage tech jobs.
Google just announced they’re expanding in west village and hiring 12,000 high-wage tech employees. Together with Amazon, that’ll add 37,000 new tech workers in two NYC neighborhoods. This is just the tip of the iceberg. NYC will probably have closer to 250k new tech jobs in 10 years.
And where will they live and how will they get on the already strangled Public Transportation , James.
LIC has many new apartments and a high vacancy rate. As far as public transportation goes, LIC has 7 different train lines, ferry stations, bridges and tunnel. Most will either live in LIC or will commute into LIC during mornings and out of LIC during afternoons which is the opposite of rush hour.
Well if true, can’t imagine how overcrowded this neighborhood will become – Sunnyside Yards will be part of the deal with Amazon – an LIC High Line on the abadonded tracks – Sunset Park to Astoria Street Car line, new Sunnyside LIRR Station, reopening of the Rockaway line, housing, schools, parkland, Newtown Creek clean-up, pedestrian/bike Bridge over Greenpoint Ave station will all be part of the project. My wife and I are in our late 50’s Years Old, my corner two family home in LIC, NY paid for in full – with two parking spaces, I have a few good working years left, so hope that my property goes up in price so I can sell and leave this shit-hole of a city with my sanity intact and money in my pocket and live life in retirement elsewhere.
In other words, Amazon is your lottery ticket. Especially considering that up until 2000, LIC was mostly filled with warehouses, strip joints, hookers walking around topless and junkies lurking in the night.
SMART to do what you say.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that “the local community must be heard here”……. did he listen to the local community when we asked to stop the overdevelopment of LIC ?
Nor did he listen before allowing that hideous play-doh sculpture.
You are referring to the Statue of Limitations?
Jimmy Van Bramer knows this is a “DONE DEAL” just like Sunnyside Yards. Jobs are GOOD but not when you haven’t planned for the neighborhood in the first place. It is chaos on the TRAINS AND ROADWAYS now, despite what GOV. Corruption Cuomo and Mayor DUMBLASIO want you to believe. How much in TAX BREAKS did NYC & STATE give away for this???? Just like Movie companies that disrupt neighborhoods practically every week. Infrastructure is BAD now with no forward planning for the current overdevelopment. Amazon and Sunnyside Yds will destroy what is left of this neighborhood. Don’t forget the 27 hotels/future homeless shelters? still to be built in LIC along with massive development on 44th drive and Jackson Ave. Don’t ruin Court Sq. Park just for DOGS and rich people. I would rather see it the way it is now. there was a chance on Crescent ST. to build a nice park but development won out. Do the right thing JVB and vote these project DOWN NOW!!!!!!!
I hate tax breaks for the rich!
Except the millions and millions of dollars in Estate Tax breaks Trump gave the rich of course.
Don’t make LIC just for rich people like Trump. Also, vote Trump.
NY will give Amazon tax breaks in return for 25,000 HIGH WAGE SALARY JOBS making $100,000 plus. Now that is a GREAT DEAL. Plus all the other companies that will follow and hire, plus the $2.5 billion Amazon will spend on development which will create good construction jobs. Regarding infrastructure, NYC already announced they will spend about $200 million on LIC and much more to come. This is the BEST Deal NY will ever make. JOBS JOBS JOBS
“The local community must be heard from.”
Tears of laughter.
Freaking out over the 7 train will commence in 3… 2… 1… (Never mind that LIC is also served by the E, F, G, M, N, W and R.)
FACTS! Plus the LIRR, NYC Ferry station, midtown tunnel, 59th st bridge, Roosevelt Island bridge and Polaski bridge. Most importantly, the majority of the Amazon employees will probably live in the new LIC buildings and won’t clog mass transit.
LIC is the transportation hub of Queens
Just about all TRAIN lines at capacity already.(7-E-F-M-N-G-R-W). LIRR can’t run on time now with less people than are planned to come here.
complaints about lack of infrastructure to support in 3,2,1..
So much for staying in LIC for the long term.
Queens as a place “be pedestrian-friendly.” ……..yes, that would be nice if we had more pedestrian-friendly intersection and streets….
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
25,000 Amazon jobs paying $100,000 plus in salaries. Sign me up please!!!
He was recplaced by Tim Cook about 5 years ago, if I recall correctly.
I hope this becomes official. This will be great news that will bring many great jobs.
Sunnyside Yard, no doubt. If the city cooperates, they could build out relatively quickly. And turn it into a transit hub/company town that goes far beyond the poorly located Google and Apple campuses in Silicon Valley. Keep in mind, Bezos has basically unlimited funds and he has a God complex. He doesn’t have to risk a dime; investors will fund anything that Amazon proposes.
The proximity of the Cornell/Technion campus was probably a factor in this decision.
I know everyone on here will whine but this is a huge positive. As someone who has had to move my office three times in the 10 years that I’ve been in LIC, I am well aware of the growing pains. We finally purchased a property on 11th Street and we are now building that space out with a hopeful occupancy by the end of 2019. One thing is sure: it’s going to be a wild ride!
NOO GOD! NO. GOD. PLEASE. NO. NO!!! NO!!! NOOOOOO!!!
25,000 jobs making $100,000 ?. Yes please!!!
Neither of you real estate people will be working at Amazon
Actually, a lot of these real estate will benefit greatly from Amazon. So will the local restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and many many other businesses.
amazon will probably take over the citi building as HQ
Cuomo and DuhBlasio would hand over their entire family to have Amazon have a HQ in LIC. You read that, Dems? tax incentives to move to NYC??? Hahaha
They’ll be pleased to know that they’re in the Amazon delivery supported area. Maybe they can get some sort of corporate Prime rate.
If they can afford the JACKED UP rents by then.
this is not TRUE at all – nothing has been decided yet — and where they want to put this is by Newtown Creek that is where it belongs. Now all of a sudden Mr. JVB is worried about an infracture deficit with all the building in LIC – gee alot of money went his way.
“Part of the report said rapid residential development resulting from the 2001 rezoning has strained neighborhood resources and the quality of life of residents.” ……..ya think?