amazon

City Living, Policy, real estate trends, Transportation

Stuck in traffic? Blame the internet.

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, October 28, 2019

Via Flickr

Driving from point A to point B in New York City is actually getting slower despite brand new bridges, tolls, congestion pricing, and public transportation options, and it has a lot to do with all the stuff we’re ordering online. A recent story in the New York Times outlines how massive growth in online ordering from companies like Amazon has added a whole new layer to the delivery truck traffic and parked vehicles that clog city streets each day. But the real news may be the new layer of infrastructure that’s being added to the city’s economy in the form of “last mile” fulfillment centers to get it all to consumers overnight.

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Long Island City

Previous rendering of Anable Basin, courtesy of WXY architecture + urban design

Soon after Amazon canceled plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, the city began reviving earlier plans to bring a mix of residential and industrial spaces to the neighborhood. Developers and city officials are still in talks over how the 28-acre site—which includes land owned by both the city and plastics company Plaxall—will be used. As Politico recently reported, the vision is starting to come into sharper focus with property owners now engaging the neighborhood and community board to help determine the future of the waterfront site.

Here’s what we know so far

Queens

Amazon, Queens, Maspeth

Google Street View of the Maspeth site

As Amazon’s search for new warehouse space continues, the retail giant is looking to Queens again, as Crain’s reports. Several sources have said the company is considering leasing the site at 55-15 Grand Avenue in Maspeth, which can accommodate over 700,000 square feet of space. If the deal goes forward, Amazon would scrap the existing, former warehouse and build a custom distribution facility from the ground up.

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Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Earlier this week reports circulated that Amazon might be eyeing Industry City for new office space in Brooklyn, but the company’s search isn’t limited to one borough. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon is searching throughout New York City for a space large enough to accommodate its growing workforce and is in talks with WeWork to lease space in the historic Lord & Taylor flagship store, which WeWork bought earlier this year. Spokespeople for both companies declined to comment, but sources say Amazon is considering leasing a part of the building or the entire 12 stories. The Journal also noted that Amazon is looking into other locations, including the Farley Post Office across from Penn Station.

More details

Brooklyn

industry city, sunset park, IC

Photo via Industry City

Months after breaking up with Long Island City, Amazon is scoping out locations in neighboring Brooklyn, as Crain’s reported today. Sources say the company is searching for “a massive space” to house a new logistics facility and is considering renting out roughly one million square-feet at Industry City in Sunset Park, though that wasn’t confirmed by anyone involved directly in the potential deal.

More details

Midtown West, New Developments

manhattan west, 4 manhattan west, 5 manhattan west, brookfield, amazon

Manhattan West. Rendering via VisualHouse.

Retail disruptor Amazon has reportedly been looking at over 100,000 square feet of office space in the new One Manhattan West tower and supertall-to-be Two Manhattan West. According to the New York Post, the company is looking for “at least 100,000 square feet or much more” in the glassy skyscrapers that are part of a rapidly rising West Side development hot spot. When the Post asked Mayor de Blasio about the news, he told the paper that if Amazon moves forward with the plans, “they’re going to have to do it on their own.”

Unlike Queens, Manhattan will hardly notice

New Developments, Queens, Woodside

amazon fulfillment center, amazon

Image via Flickr.

Last week brought news that a $5.6 million Amazon conversion project is coming to the former Bulova facility at 26-15 Boody Street in Woodside, Queens that will turn the warehouse into a delivery center for the retail giant. Though the new project is expected to create 2,000 new jobs, an Amazon spokesperson told 6sqft they’re likely to be $18-$25 per hour jobs rather than the 25,000 $150K professional salaries the no-go Amazon HQ had promised.

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City Living, Long Island City

Court Square Library, Queens Public Library, Long Island City

image via Google Earth

Two months after mega-retailer Amazon announced it was walking away from a lease at One Court Square, a Long Island City library branch that occupies space on the ground floor of the 53-story Citigroup building is facing the possibility of eviction according to non-profit publication The City. The lease on the 3,200-square-foot One Court Square branch of the Queens Public Library expires on August 31. The library has paid an annual rent of $1 since the building opened in 1989 as part of a deal with Citigroup, whose lease on the space ends in May of 2020, but a spokesperson for the library has said that the building’s owner has “indicated it is seeking market rent for the library space.” Last year, building owner Savanna was reportedly seeking $55 to $65 per square foot for space in the building.

A valuable community service in jeopardy

Long Island City, Policy

amazon, long island city, amazon nyc

Image via NYCEDC

According to a new poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute, nearly two-thirds of New York state registered voters think Amazon’s decision to cancel its plans for a second headquarters in Queens was bad for New York. Sixty-one percent of the people who were polled say they would approve of the deal—in which Amazon would receive up to $3 billion in state and city incentives and create up to 25,000 jobs—if the company were to reconsider. The results are clear: “While some may have celebrated Amazon’s announcement to pull the plug, the vast majority of New Yorkers of every stripe thought it was bad for the Empire State,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

More info

hudson yards, Major Developments, New Developments, Policy

hudson yards, grand opening

Rendering courtesy of Related/Oxford.

The $20 billion, 28-acre Hudson Yards megaproject has been in the news recently as its official March 15 grand opening approaches. The New York Times reports that the nation’s largest residential development has gotten more than a little financial help from the city government to get there. In fact, public records–and a recent study by the New School–reveal that the development has received nearly $6 billion in the form of tax breaks and additional government assistance, twice the controversial $3 billion in incentives held out to Amazon to entice the retail tech giant to bring its second headquarters to Queens.

That’s a pretty big break

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