As deadline nears, New York City’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters heats up

Posted On Fri, October 6, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, October 6, 2017 By In Policy

Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr

With the deadline for proposals due Oct. 19, New York City politicians, business leaders and real estate developers are putting the finishing touches on their pitches intended to lure Amazon into building their second headquarters in the city. After Amazon first announced HQ2, which will bring $5 billion in initial city investment and 50,000 new jobs, over two dozen site proposals in 23 neighborhoods were crafted in New York. According to Crain’s, a group of city and state agencies is working together on a bid, with less than two weeks left before the due date. So far, proposals for neighborhoods like Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Sunset Park’s Industry City, Long Island City and areas in the Bronx have been discussed.

Amazon’s nationwide competition kicked off in early September and set off an intense race among major cities. In the tech giant’s request for proposals, they listed specific requirements for the home of their next headquarters: a population of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, access to mass transit and a talented workforce. Amazon needs 500,000 square feet by 2019, eventually needing 8 million square feet.

As 6sqft previously covered, landlords in Brooklyn were working together on a pitch for the borough’s many properties, including Industry City, a huge 6.5 million-square-foot complex in Sunset Park. Plus, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Hoan wrote a letter to Amazon, pitching their “Brooklyn Prime” campaign.

The Brooklyn officials wrote, “Our quality of life is second-to-none, with world-class arts and culture, five-star foodie experiences, healthy workplace initiatives, and incredible transit access to all of the natural beauty our region has to offer. Most important, we have the human capital any top-tier global business is looking for; with 90 spoken languages, Brooklyn is the living embodiment of the United Nations.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. also wrote a letter boasting Bronx as the best spot for Amazon’s HQ2 but did not reveal publicly which companies have put in proposals. Melinda Katz, the borough president for Queens, recently wrote a letter deeming Long Island City as the best site for the new headquarters.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office will work with the Economic Development Corp. (EDC), and other agencies over the next two weeks to build a bid based on ideas submitted. De Blasio has said he will meet with Amazon executives. A spokesperson for the EDC told Crain’s: “We think we have a really strong case to make.”

Even if the company does not choose the city for HQ2, Amazon’s presence in New York has grown. In September, the company signed a lease for a 359,000-square-foot administrative office at Five Manhattan West, the Brookfield Property Partners’ 16-story, 1.8 million-square-foot building. This new office is expected to create 2,000 new jobs in finance, sales, marketing and information technology. Amazon is also bringing a $100 million, 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center will be built on Staten Island, two brick-and-mortar bookstores in the city and now owns the city’s 12 Whole Foods stores.

[Via Crain’s]

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