City officially pitches four neighborhoods for Amazon’s HQ2

October 19, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corporation released their official pitch for Amazon’s second headquarters on Wednesday, one day before the deadline. Boasting the city’s talented tech workforce, the de Blasio administration has pitched Midtown West, Long Island City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle (DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard), and Lower Manhattan as the four best spots for Amazon to call home. The tech giant’s nationwide competition, announced in September, set out to find their next headquarters, called HQ2. The company promises the headquarters will bring 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in initial city investment.

Amazon currently has an expansive footprint in NYC, map via NYCEDC

According to the pitch, New York is uniquely qualified for HQ2 because it features the country’s largest tech talent pool, the largest tech pipeline in the Northeast, competitive labor costs and the nation’s largest air-transit and public transportation system. The city says the New York Metro Area has experienced a 19 percent growth in the workforce in recent years, adding 296,263 jobs. Amazon requires 500,000 square feet of office space by 2018 and eventually another 7.5 million square feet.

The city is pitching four NYC neighborhoods, map via NYCEDC

The city calls Midtown West its “epicenter” with 2.4 million diverse workers within 45 minutes of the area. It boasts its proximity to Penn Station and major developments at Hudson Yards. Plus, the area remains a cultural destination with access to Madison Square Garden, the art galleries of Chelsea and the High Line. Midtown West offers 26 million square feet for Amazon’s potential campus.

The former industrial Queens neighborhood of Long Island City makes the list as a center for local and regional transit networks. The city says this will allow Amazon to lure employees throughout the area and also quickly connect them to LaGuardia and JFK airports, as well as Penn and Grand Central Terminal. The booming neighborhood features over 150 restaurants, bars and cafes, with more certainly on the way, and 40 cultural institutions. The proposal says 13 million square feet of real estate is available at favorable price points.

The neighborhoods of DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn make up the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the name city officials gave the innovative hub. The waterfront area is already home to 17,000 tech jobs, with 1,400 innovative companies. According to the city, there is more than 15 million square feet for a potential headquarters and over 1.5 million workers within 45 minutes of the neighborhood.

Regina Myer, the president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a champion for local development in the area, said the Tech Triangle is the perfect site for HQ2: “We have the talent, the culture, the education institutions, transit infrastructure, world-class parks, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and some of the nation’s most cutting-edge Class A office space in the pipeline,” Myer said in a statement.

Following 9/11, Lower Manhattan has seen over $30 billion in public and private investment, making way for the neighborhood’s dramatic reinvention. More than 8.5 million square feet would be available for Amazon’s HQ2 and the company could pull from a workforce of about 1.7 million workers.

As an international capital for cultural, art, communications and emerging technologies, New York City might have a solid chance for landing HQ2. However, the city might drop in the rankings because the city is not offering any special tax breaks and would be the most costly.

Read a summarization of the city’s pitch to Amazon here.


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