Poll shows a majority of New Yorkers approve of Amazon’s move to Queens

Posted On Thu, December 6, 2018 By

Posted On Thu, December 6, 2018 By In Long Island City, Policy, Queens

Rendering of Plaxall’s proposed (but not approved) mixed-use LIC project courtesy of WXY architecture + urban design

A majority of New Yorkers approve of Amazon moving to Long Island City despite opposition from Queens activists and politicians, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Fifty-seven percent of all respondents said they support the company’s plan to build a waterfront office complex in Queens, with 26 percent disproving. And approval among Queens residents is even higher, with 60 percent supporting the deal. But the poll did find a more divided opinion about the potential $3 billion in public incentives and grants offered to Amazon by the city and state, with 46 percent approving of the subsidies and 44 percent disproving.

The poll also revealed that New Yorkers believe New York City “should have more of a say about Amazon’s plans,” a polling analyst for Quinnipiac, Mary Snow, said in a press release. Nearly 80 percent of voters polled believed the city should have had more input in the process, which happened behind closed doors and without input from local Queens politicians.

As 6sqft previously reported, the campus is planned for a waterfront area in LIC known as Anable Basin and will include a mix of public and private sites. While typically a project like this would be subject to city rezoning regulations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he is prepared to create a general project plan (GPP) to rezone the site, which does not require City Council approval.

The deal, crafted by Amazon with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo, has prompted legislative action from city officials, as well as a call for transparency. Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced the Council will host three hearings to question city leaders and Amazon executives about the deal.

And Sen. Michael Gianaris announced this week plans to draft a law that curbs insider dealing in real estate after the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon employees were buying condos in Long Island City before the company had publicly announced its plan for its second headquarters. Gianaris also has plans to draft legislation that prohibits the use of non-disclosure agreements as part of economic development negotiations, like what was done during the Amazon discussions.

Council Members Jumanne Williams and Brad Lander, and Jimmy Van Bramer have also spoken out against the plan and have said they will introduce legislation to prevent city officials from signing non-disclosure agreements with companies.

Van Bramer and Gianaris released a joint statement on Wednesday following the release of the poll: “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. It is also clear that the more people learn about the deal, the less they like it.”

[Via Politico NY]

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Neighborhoods : Long Island City

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