Since Amazon announced it had selected Long Island City for its new headquarters last fall, a lot of people have wondered what will happen to the neighborhood and its surrounding communities. While LIC has already undergone a series of radical changes of the past two decades—first there was an influx of artists seeking larger live-work spaces and later a wave of condo developments—the arrival of Amazon promises to have an even deeper impact on LIC.
And the potential negative effect of the tech giant moving into town has not gone unnoticed by public officials and locals, who have led a strong opposition campaign. It was reported on Friday that Amazon was reconsidering its plan to move to the neighborhood after facing an intense backlash from those who fear increased rents and even more congestion. But with no plan to officially abandon Queens, it’s important to understand what could happen if Amazon does put down roots in LIC by first looking at how the company has already changed Seattle, where it first set up shop back in 1994.
More on the effect
After facing months of intense backlash from residents and local officials, Amazon is rethinking its plan to open a massive complex in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Sources told the newspaper, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, that executives at the tech company have had discussions to reassess the plan to open its “HQ2” in New York City. “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming,” a source told the Post.
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A rendering of One Court Square in LIC, where Amazon will temporarily move this year; via NYCEDC
During a heated City Council hearing on Wednesday, Amazon said it will oppose efforts by its New York City workforce to unionize. Speaker Corey Johnson asked Brian Huseman, the public policy vice president for Amazon, if the company would allow workers to unionize while remaining neutral during the process. Huseman responded, “No, sir,” establishing a tense tone for the rest of the hearing, the Daily News reported.
Students learning how to code at Monsignor Scanlan High in the Bronx. Image courtesy of Amazon.
As part of ongoing campaigns and efforts to ease fears about the tech giant’s controversial arrival to New York City, Amazon announced yesterday that it will start offering computer science courses at 130 high schools throughout the boroughs. With funding from Amazon’s Future Engineer program, the company will start providing introductory and Advanced Placement Computer Science courses through the New York-based curriculum provider, Edhesive, as early as this fall. The plan covers 37 schools in Queens (the most of any borough), 27 high schools in Manhattan and the Bronx, 35 in Brooklyn, and 6 in Staten Island.
About the program
A pair of job postings listed by online retail giant Amazon kicked the excitement level up a notch in anticipation of the company’s new “HQ2” headed for Long Island City, Queens. According to Bloomberg, the ads, seeking a software development manager and software engineer, referred to the company’s impending New York expansion by saying the new HQ would be the site of a 50-person team starting in 2019 as part of its Intelligent Cloud Control group. Following a flurry of press inquiries, Amazon quickly added that though they would begin hiring for HQ2 later in 2019, the listings were for positions in an already-existing office.
More Amazon excitement this way
Google Street View of Long Island City’s engine 261
In 2003, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg shuttered six city firehouses including Engine Company 261 at 37-20 29th Street in Long Island City, the growing neighborhood was nowhere near its current density. Since then, a veritable mini-city of high-rise residential towers has sprung up in the once-industrial Queens neighborhood; the FDNY has been considering the need for more firepower to keep the mini-metropolis safe. The recent announcement of Amazon’s impending arrival with 25,000 jobs in tow has given more urgency to concerns about the increased demand for emergency services, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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Via Creative Commons
Amazon is close to reaching a deal to lease 10,000 square feet at the Chrysler Building, the New York Post reported on Sunday. News of the impending lease comes less than a week after it was reported that the Art Deco landmark is up for sale. Amazon announced in November plans to open a massive office complex in Long Island City to serve as their “HQ2.” The company will start moving to the neighborhood this year, temporarily leasing space at One Court Square, a 50-story building with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. More here
Rendering via Binyan Studios
The Skyline Tower, a 67-story condo building under construction in Long Island City, ended the year on a very high note. In addition to being named 6sqft’s 2018 Building of the Year, the Hill West Architects-designed, 778-foot-tall tower became the first in Queens to pass $1 billion in total sell out. Plus, the property, which developer United Construction & Development Group first filed plans for in 2016, sits across the street from One Court Square, where Amazon is leasing one million square feet of office space before the company moves to its new HQ2 complex along the waterfront. On Wednesday, new renderings of Skyline Tower were released, showing off the interiors, views, and new subway entrance at the future tallest tower in Queens.
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Via NYCEDC and Wiki Commons
This week the city’s Economic Development Corporation released documents of its detailed pitch to lure Amazon to move to the city, which included offering up prime real estate in four different New York City neighborhoods and nearly $3 billion in incentives. Another thing city and state officials pitched to the tech company, which chose Long Island City last month for its HQ2 complex, is the state’s famous “I love NY” logo. In their pitch, city and state officials swapped the iconic logo’s heart out for Amazon’s arrow-smile, which assumingly reads “I Amazon NY.”
Glaser’s thoughts ahead
A rendering of One Court Square, where Amazon will temporarily move in 2019; via NYCEDC
City and state officials lured Amazon to open its new office complex in New York with an extensive pitch, complete with four suggested neighborhoods and the promise of prime real estate, according to documents released by the city’s economic development corporation on Monday. In exchange for 25,000 new jobs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are offering Amazon nearly $3 billion in incentives and grants. And while last month Amazon selected the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City as its new home, officials had proposed bringing Amazon’s campus to the Farley Building, 3 World Trade Center, Brooklyn Height’s Watchtower building, Bjarke Ingels’ The Spiral, and even Governors Island.
See the full pitch