How Amazon's HQ2 could help all tech workers in DC and NYC

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NY was able to extract from Amazon some land for a school in exchange for its $2.4 billion grift package.

The New York city and DC-area picks allow the company to strategically sidestep and diffuse numerous growing pains Amazon has been accused of inflicting on its Seattle hometown.

The New York Building Congress, a coalition of construction and design groups, said: "Amazon will be a tremendous boost to New York's economy and stimulate countless industries, from technology and innovation to design and construction". Mike Gianaris and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, both of Long Island City, in a statement.

Some of the incentives are subject to approval by state and local legislative bodies, setting up a likely political fight over how much public money to give away in exchange for thousands of high-paying tech jobs.

On Tuesday, Amazon officially announced that Long Island City in Queens, New York and Arlington, Virginia have been chosen as the two sites for its second global headquarters, or "Amazon HQ2", ending a closely watched yearlong race among 20 USA and Canadian cities for Jeff Bezos' mammoth $5 billion contract. Searches in the other victor of Amazon's sweepstakes, Crystal City, Virginia, jumped 84 percent. However, Virginia Tech on Tuesday announced a new $1 billion "Innovation Campus" just south of the newly named National Landing.


At the same time, Tim Bartik, a senior economist at the Upjohn Institute, cautioned that with unemployment so low in both cities, numerous jobs Amazon will bring will likely go to people who don't now live in either Arlington or NY.

"The government will also work with Amazon on record requests to redact portions of the materials to 'the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, '" the Washington Examiner continued, adding that helicopter access was also part of the deal, so Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can fly into the headquarters. New York's total incentives could increase to $1.7 billion if Amazon expands its presence to 40,000 jobs within 15 years.

"One of the wealthiest companies in history should not be receiving financial assistance from the taxpayers while too many NY families struggle to make ends meet", said Gillibrand, who said last week she is contemplating a 2020 presidential run.

The funds, which have to be appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly, are created to decrease slightly in value if more than 10% of the new hires are focused on federal government contracts. He added, "Amazon's top leadership needs to wake up and see the damage this is doing, and simply say no to incentives".

The city recently committed to invest $95 million in sewer upgrades, a new school, safer streets and more parks in the neighborhood, but Lewandowski said that infrastructure still remains far behind.


In a press release, the organization suggested that some of the subsidies going to Amazon have not been disclosed by the company.

Seattle's new concentration of highly-educated, well-paid techies infused in a post-Great Recession era has contributed to a vicious housing market. The tech firm will also rent about 500,000 square feet in three existing properties, though it will probably leave some of that space once the new offices are built, Kelly said.

To the disappointment of boosters and the delight of naysayers, Amazon has bypassed Austin in favor of Northern Virginia and New York City for the e-commerce giant's new corporate headquarters.

Arlington County officials say Amazon HQ2 will send housing prices up. No mention was made of Amazon at the time.

The two communities that learned Tuesday they are about to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.


The Toronto bid - which also included Mississauga, Brampton and communities in York, Durham and Halton regions - made the 20-city short list earlier this year, but Amazon ultimately chose to locate its new operations in New York City and Crystal City, Va., in the United States.

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