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New Poll Finds Queens Residents Support Amazon in Long Island City

An aerial view of where Amazon will establish new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Dec. 5, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A new poll has found that Queens residents approve of Amazon building new headquarters in Long Island City—in stark contrast to the backlash and anti-Amazon rhetoric expressed by many borough officials and groups over the plan.

The Quinnipiac University Poll released today shows that Queens residents are not only for the tech giant locating its headquarters at Anable Basin, but approve of the billions in incentives it is set to receive from the city and state for the move.

The poll found that 60 percent of Queens voters approve of Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City, compared to just 26 percent of voters who oppose the tech giant’s presence.

Queens voters, furthermore, support the $3 billion in state and city incentives Amazon is set to receive as part of its deal to locate to Queens, with 55 percent in approval compared to the 39 percent of voters that oppose the incentives package.

The poll also reveals Queens to be the borough most in support of the city and state’s incentive package to Amazon, followed by the Bronx.

On a citywide basis, the Quinnipiac Poll found that New Yorkers approve of Amazon coming to Queens by 57 percent to 26 percent. Voters as a whole, however, were split on the financial package offered in the deal, with 46 percent supporting the incentives while 44 percent opposed it.

Voters in Queens and citywide, meanwhile, say New York City should have more of a say in the review process of Amazon’s buildout.

The tech company’s project, which will be moving through a state-run process, has been criticized by the opposition for just that, with many believing that the selected process shuts the doors for review at the city and local level.

In Queens, 78 percent of voters said the city should be more involved in the process, with only 10 percent of voters electing “no” in this category. The percentage goes up to 79 percent on a citywide basis, compared to 13 percent in opposition.

The poll also asked voters if they had any concerns about Amazon’s headquarter plans, to which 54 percent of Queens resident said they did not—more than the 41 percent of voters who say they do. The citywide numbers were identical to the Queens findings in this category.

The concerns, in turn, mostly registered on the project’s impact on housing, with 31 percent of respondents choosing this category. The poll, however, had only outlined three concerns for voters to choose from, with the other two being the impacts on transportation and quality of life.

The polling center also asked if voters approved or disapproved of the way both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio handled the deal.

The results for both leaders were similar, with 35 percent of Queens voters approving Cuomo’s handling compared to 31 percent against. For de Blasio, 34 percent of voters in the borough approved, compared to 32 percent.

The poll, the first major survey to be conducted after Amazon announced its headquarter plans last month, shows a vastly different account of how residents in Queens feel about the project compared to the backlash seen in the form of rallies, petitions, newly-drafted legislation, planned oversight hearings and more from elected officials and groups.

A “No to Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City” rally, for instance, was held the day after the Nov. 13 headquarters announcement , where local politicians like Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Sen. Michael Gianaris vehemently denounced the company’s plans on multiple fronts.

The two electeds, who represent the area where Amazon will be built, have repeatedly rebuked the “bad deal” since, but seem split, like many officials, on the company coming to the area. Gianaris had said he’s for jobs and a better deal, while Van Bramer is fully opposed to the corporate giant in his district, regardless of a deal.

The two released a joint statement on the Quinnipiac Poll shortly after its release, where they did not specifically address the Queens statistics, but appeared to speak to the citywide split on the incentives package.

“New Yorkers are making clear they agree that too much inequality exists in our communities and giving billions of taxpayer dollars to trillion dollar corporations makes things worse, not better,” the statement reads. “It is also clear that the more people learn about the deal, the less they like it.”

Van Bramer, however, retweeted a statement released by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which he has partnered with recently in opposition to the Amazon project. The statement, this time, appears to address the poll’s findings in Queens.

“This Quinnipiac poll means nothing,” reads the statement from Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU. “The reality is that opposition to this terrible Amazon HQ2 deal for New York City continues to grow by leaps and bounds.”

Appelbaum added that Amazon is aware of the widespread opposition it faces and referred to an item reported only recently that the company had hired a new PR firm to help better market its project.

Make the Road NY, a non-profit that has come out against the Amazon project, also came out against the poll.

“This poll doesn’t come close to reflecting the reality in our communities, which stand united in opposition to the #HQ2Scam,” said Deborah Axt, co-executive director. “Not a single community member with whom we’ve discussed the terms of this deal has said they support it.”

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, where 1,075 self-identified registered voters in New York City were surveyed by way of landline and cell phone.

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38 Comments

AmericanBIDs

Just amazed of how the LIC Partnership and BID has galvanized businesses and property owners around a common vision for Long Island City. Truly a national model. Congratulations!

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John

NYC is constantly changing for better or for worse. I remember not too long ago when jobs, especially good jobs, were scarce. There will be challenges ahead with Amazon but I am in favor of 25,000 jobs.

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JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazon bring us the JOBS!
– 25,000 Amazon JOBS averaging $100,000 salaries!
– 3,000 SEIU UNION JOBS for maintenance and security at HQ.
– 1,500 UNION construction JOBS for development!
– Plus additional tech JOBS for companies that will work with Amazon.
– Plus additional service JOBS in restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, etc.

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MRLIC

To all those people who think Amazon to LIC is a good deal.Do you own your residences? You figure Real Estate will go up. I see your point in a way. It may benefit you especially if you want to get out of LIC and sell for a profit. Transportation is already congested and Amazon will make it worse, much worse. Yes, that will affect You TOO!!!!!!!!!! Many people will be hurt by this, GENTRIFIED OUT. Does anyone care about these people, I guess NOT. JVB and Gianaris are finally doing the RIGHT THING for LIC.

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More LIC than you :)

If I see “I live in LIC” one more time in these comments, I’m going to have to play my “I was born and raised here bisch” card.

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Sunnyside Resident

I recommend going to the actual poll site for some perspective. Quinnipiac polled 1,075 people total in a city of 8.6 million people. Queens has 2.3 people, but only about 200 of them were sampled in this poll. It was a telephone poll – so they only reached people who were willing to answer their phones. Manhattan and Brooklyn poll respondents opposed the deal. https://poll.qu.edu/new-york-city/release-detail?ReleaseID=2589

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Stephen

I would be curious to see how many of those people actually live in Long Island City. By comparison, it wouldn’t make any difference to me if they wanted to build a giant prison in Little Neck or Rosedale because it’s MILES away and won’t have any impact on my life. I’ll bet the residents there would have a pretty big problem with it though.

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Gary

You’re comparing a giant prison full of dangerous criminals to a company that wants to hire 25,000 jobs paying $100k salaries? You must be very special

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Two Cents

It’s the people who live miles away along the 7, E, N, R, M and other lines that will probably be most affected by transportation issues (more crowded trains bringing workers INTO LIC), so they would have just as much incentive to disapprove of this as the lifer LIC residents who don’t want anything to change ever.

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Clay

There is no way that amazon locating here is bad or harms anyone. Only good can come from it. It was a deal mad eand done on a level that circumvented the obstructionists that would have made any deal untenable . There is so much money at stake on so many levels with so many players that going through the city and local coucils would have been a black hole. The mayor and the governor etc did this the right way for a change and it WILL happen.

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shawn

how exactly is it good for us? they will be overcrowding our train. increasing the rental properties around LIC and did i mention parking yet? no? well parking will be horrendous. of course you’d know this if you know, ACTUALLY lived in sunnyside/woodside/lic/astoria. but i guess you dont.

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MRLIC

How could a Backroom deal bypassing rules and regulations and the City Council itself be a good deal CLAY? There are developers trolling the LIC post who want this to come to fruition. Sadly it might. There will be anti-amazon Protests . I would love to see this deal fall
through and not get done. Remember people who want this: 2.8 billion dollars to one of the richest companies in the world. Ta breaks and a $505 million dollar helipad for King Bezos. we have enough construction going on in LIC that keeps people working in Construction. LIC has been overbuilt. Leave it alone already. Crowding LIC up will only make it worse. Stop believing the Real estate Agents and Developers. Wake up! They are ruining LIC. here is no provision to hire locally in the deal, remember that.

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MRLOL

I’m outraged that our billionaire president gave millions of tax breaks to these rich developers like himself. You too, right?

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shawn

let me guess, those queens residents that are in favor of amazon relocating to LIC live in Jamaica, Ridgewood, Flushing and Bayside, am i right? because i’m sure if those polled in sunnyside, woodside, long island city and astoria, the numbers would be different.

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Gardens Watcher

Sunnyside resident & property owner. In favor of Amazon deal. Everybody I talk to locally in favor too.

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Peter B.

The problem with this, and so many polls, is that it asks people’s opinions in the abstract. It would have been useful to see a question on the poll along the lines of “Would you support the Amazon deal in the event that it displaced over 800 local residents as some have contended?” and/or “Would you support the Amazon deal if it caused real estate and rental prices to significantly increase?” I think you would get very different answers. I mean without knowing more, who wouldn’t say yes to a bunch of new jobs? But at what cost?

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Frank

I support the Amazon deal, love in LIC, and would have answered yes to both your rephrasing of the question.

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C

What queens residents are they asking? I certainly wasn’t polled. Obviously this is a selected group and not representative of the whole at all.

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Right?

My question too. I live less than 5 blocks from the proposed site and no one asked me to participate in a poll, so how do they even know for sure that the respondents make up a statistically significant sample of affected queens dwellers?

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JRo

Anecdotally I have been hearing the same from my neighbors here in LIC. While some people have concerns of what Amazon’s move means as a whole, for the most part my neighbors think it is a positive thing for the neighborhood and the city. I think that the politicians that think this is bad, under any circumstances, are not representing the majority of their constituents.

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Ray Johnson

To Make the Road NY…I am one of many supportive residents. Facebook posts in support indicate a silent majority support the proposal. I live on Center Blvd, rent, and know this will be great for our region.

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LIC resident FOR HQ2!

I’m not surprised at al by the poll’s results. I talk to my LIC neighbors and, like me, they are nearly all for Amazon HQ2. These politicians are delusional and appallingly out of touch with the pro-HQ2 sentiment in our community. I tend to believe they are simply pissed that they were not included in the making of this great deal for LIC, Queens and our city as a whole. Get over the egos already!

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Young People Need Jobs

Or maybe he/she is some one that supports 25,000 Amazon jobs, 3,000 union (maintenance & security) jobs, 2,000 union construction jobs plus all other tech and service jobs that will be added. The pros obviously outweigh the cons.

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MRLIC

This is the same poll that said Mayor Bloomberg in his (BOUGHT) 3rd term would win by 35% over Bill Thompson. Bloomberg won by 5%. Everyone I talk to in LIC does not want Amazon to move here or does not think 2.8 Billion dollars should go to one of the richest companies in the world. bs all the way.

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LICfly

Why focus on the $2.8B tax incentive? Anyone that’s not thinking about the net number after tax revenues is clearly refusing to see the big picture. I get that there may be negative consequences to a large corporate presence but if talking just the numbers, let’s be fair and accurate.

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JRo

I live in LIC and I am finding that most people I talk to are in favor of Amazon coming, than not. Obviously people have concerns but most people think it is a good thing in the long run.

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Enuff

Please. Stop with the PR crap. A poll also said we want a toll on the Queensborough Bridge! (JVB used that to support his position back in the day) This is total baloney.

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Anonymous

Finally some news on this that makes sense. Most people I’ve spoken to support Amazon coming to LIC. Van Bramer and others are clearly trying to bolster their liberal credentials and are not listening to, or acting in the best interest of, their constituents. They do not deserve future support of the community.

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Daniel

As some one who grew up in LIC, and who was gentrified away I understand the anger of Amazon arrival. However, I realize a player with the salaries offered by Amazon (data analytics roles not WH roles) is my only way back home. Big catch 22.

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D

Google and Facebook arrived quietly to the West side of Manhattan, pay full freight in taxes, no concessions, did not discard a Department of Education building on 44th Drive–where will they go?– and employ plenty of engineers, so Daniel, above, hasn’t noticed those salaries, jobs? BTW, data analytics is done plenty of places.
Amazon is taking the City for a chump. Not too late. Cuomo and our mayor have been had. Oh, and all other taxpayers in NYC, also.

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