LIC makes Amazon’s shortlist for new location of HQ2
After many months of speculation, and after sorting through 238 proposals, Amazon has reduced its choices for the location of its second headquarters, and Long Island City has made the cut.
Back in October, the City filed four different proposals to the e-commerce giant, each featuring a different NYC neighborhoods: Midtown West, Long Island City, Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Lower Manhattan. These places were good options because of two main reasons: these areas have the necessary square footage for a development this size (8.1 million square feet) and are close to public transportation and airports.
Even though Amazon has not been very specific regarding which neighborhoods made the cut, Queens has a real chance in becoming the chosen one. This would be an incredible addition to the borough and neighborhood, since the headquarters will create 50,000 new jobs and will signify over $5 billion in investments.
Many cities throughout the country tried to made their own case and offered large tax incentive to the company in order to entice them into building in their land. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, offered a whopping $7 billion in city in state tax incentives to the company, and it has apparently paid off: Newark is also among the 20 cities of Amazon’s shortlist.
As far as New York City goes, officials have stated that Amazon will not be eligible for any special incentive or treatment. The benefits offered to this firm are the same of what is available to other companies.
A tweet was published on Amazon’s official account stating that it was very hard for the firm to narrow the options down from 238 to 20, since all proposal were very enthusiastic and creative.
City officials described LIC as a “creative, mixed-use neighborhood” and “the city’s industrial innovation center” in their own proposal. Furthermore, the fact that LIC is close to several airports and stations (JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Penn Station and Grand Central) was also highlighted in the submitted document, along with the fact that LIC has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, museums and several other cultural institutions. Also according to the proposal, LIC has over 13 million square feet of real estate to offer the company.
Thomas Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce expressed how optimistic he is regarding Queens’ and, more specifically, LIC, to become the chosen location for Amazon. According to him, it is only a matter of time for the company to realize that Long Island City is exactly what they are looking for.
Despite Grech’s optimist, it is not clear when the company will announce its final decision. [QNS]