Ocasio-Cortez Slams Amazon's Plan to Locate HQ2 in Queens

Lloyd Doyle
November 14, 2018

Amazon is placing one headquarters in Long Island City (in the borough of Queens in New York City) and another in Crystal City, Virginia (in Arlington County).

Here's how it all played out.

Furthermore, it's more than likely that Amazon used its final bids from the competing cities as leverage in the deals it was most interested, thereby artificially inflating the worth of the deal.

However, not everyone was swept up in the excitement. In New York, the figure is $1.525 billion in exchange for the 25,000+ jobs.

- $2.5 billion investment from Amazon. As well, the company will receive a cash grant of $US325 million. It was the largest publicly known incentive offered to Amazon, according to the Baltimore Sun.

What do the cities themselves get for all that effort?

Almost 35 million Americans live in such areas, communities that in most cases have higher poverty and unemployment rates than other US communities or contain or are near pockets in desperate need of development.

Meanwhile, Lina Khan, a senior fellow with the Open Markets Institute, wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday: "Amazon extracting highly favourable terms, only to halve its promise and expect those same terms, is an exercise of bargaining power that will be familiar to numerous millions of merchants reliant on Amazon's platform".

Dozens of luxury high-rise buildings, suitable for senior Amazon executives, had been in the planning well before the company came on the scene, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of the real-estate firm Miller Samuel.

In New York, Amazon selected Long Island City, just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side - a location it touted for its blend of cultural institutions, arts organizations, new and converted housing, restaurants, bars, breweries, waterfront parks, hotels, academic institutions, and small and large tech sector and industrial businesses. "In Long Island City, it's actually a bit more expensive to own than it is in Seattle".

Amazon has so far not commented on the claims in the Wall Street Journal. And Arlington is among the wealthiest counties in the United States (in 2016, the median income there was $US108,706).

Let's hope the potential economic boost for NY isn't fly-by-night.

The US retailer plans to spend $5bn on the two new developments and expects to get more than $2bn in tax credits and incentives, with plans to apply for more.

"My heart is broken today", Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

NY and Virginia beat out 18 others, including Los Angeles and Chicago, that were on a short list Amazon released in January. "These cross-state bidding wars are a waste of scarce public dollars that do nothing to move our nation forward".

"We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia", Bezos said.

But some critics think the decision to go with two headquarters was a "bait and switch" that allowed Amazon to pit competing cities against each other.

Beyond that initial carrot, Amazon will also enjoy these cities investing heavily in making the tech giant as comfortable as possible.

What happens to the headquarters in Seattle?

That could mean testing of everything from drones to autonomous delivery vehicles, which Amazon has been developing at its Seattle headquarters.

Meanwhile, Amazon has announced that Nashville, Tennessee, will become Amazon's fourth-biggest U.S. office outside Seattle, with more than 5,000 corporate jobs focused on technology and management for its retail operations unit.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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