Did Amazon just make up a neighborhood for its new headquarters?

Jeannie Matthews
November 15, 2018

Confirming rumours that have swirled for over a week, USA -based e-commerce giant Amazon has formally announced that Long Island City in New York City and National Landing in Arlington, Virginia will serve as the two sites for the company's second North American headquarters (HQ2).

Amazon said it will refer to the new locations as headquarters, even though with 25,000 jobs each, they would have fewer workers than its Seattle hometown, which houses more than 45,000 employees.

On Tuesday, the United States cities selected by Amazon for the company's massive expansion celebrated the prospect of thousands of new jobs and billions in investment.

Amazon revealed New York City and Northern Virginia as the winners of its year-long second headquarters competition Tuesday. The company will also donate a site for a public primary and intermediate school in the area. "It is unfathomable that we would sign a $3 billion check to Amazon in the face of these challenges".

Amazon has always been a master of extracting tax incentives by playing local governments off one another as they vie for fulfillment centers, offices, and other sources of jobs.

He said people should consider buying homes in Potomac Yard, Del Ray, Shaw, Mount Vernon Square and Alexandria.

The agreement with Arlington County also pledges assistance in securing the necessary approval for a helipad on Amazon's new campus.

"It's exciting because it will bring more people to fill all those highrises they are building", she said while walking her dog. "It's way below our megadeal threshold". Large government contractors have offices and lobbying operations there. Both are waterfront communities away from overcrowded business districts, giving Amazon space to grow.

Toronto was, of course, one of the cities shortlisted, and was the only Canadian city to make it to this round.

Founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said of the new headquarters: "These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come".

Multiple analysts, however, suggest the influx of workers and their families would raise housing prices in the already tight market.

It expects an average wage of more than $150,000 for employees in each new office.

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Shawn Dixon (left) worries about his neighborhood and business when Amazon comes to town.

A $2 billion question: Did New York and Virginia overpay for Amazon? An affordable housing crisis there prompted the city council to adopt a head tax on businesses in May, which Amazon helped overturn in a subsequent city council vote.

Bill de Blasio, mayor of NY, described it as "the single biggest..." "That is the highest rate of return for an incentive program that the state has ever offered", Cuomo said.

Unconvinced, activists in Long Island City vowed to fight Amazon's plan Wednesday, criticizing the bidding process's lack of transparency.

- Estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years.

One city hoping that Amazon could give it an economic boost was Dallas.

RICHMOND, Va. - Amazon will split its second headquarters between Long Island City in NY and Crystal City in northern Virginia, according to a person familiar with the plans.

LCOR, the developer of Crystal City's Altaire, two rental towers with penthouses that rent for more than US$12,000 a month, also just got lucky. "But instead of bailing out the people here in NY, our own Democratic governor is willing to give-transfer wealth out of NY and give it directly to the pockets of the richest man on the planet?" Now, Van Bramer and Gianaris are teaming with local activist groups to protest Amazon's plans on Wednesday. Now it will watch one of the world's most important companies focus its growth in two rival cities to the south.

For those looking to move to the DC-metro area or to another local neighborhood, Nix said looking at areas along the Blue and Yellow Lines that will be feeding toward National Landing will be key.

- Performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on 25,000 jobs created with an average wage of over $150,000.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo did a victory lap, issuing a statement touting the state's success in luring Amazon.

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