Talent, real estate, accessibility, and killer views of the Manhattan skyline. Those are just some of the selling points New York officials used to convince Amazon to plant its (not quite) second headquarters in the Big Apple.
On Monday evening, New York’s economic development office released the region’s proposal for Amazon HQ2, the second headquarters project announced by the company more than a year ago. The newly released documents show New York officials proposed five sites in the metro area.
Access to talent is a theme throughout the proposal, which lists New York as having the largest tech workforce in the nation with some of the lowest median salaries for app developers. New York officials also made it clear that in addition to subsidies, they would flex their muscles to ensure Amazon’s real estate needs are met.
The proposal states that “subject to public approvals,” state development authorities are “empowered to acquire, encumber and dispose of any real property interest, including through eminent domain” and “can also override local zoning, offer tax subsidies while holding title to a property, and provide lower cost financing or grants to economic development projects.”
“In our national search of more than 200 cities, we considered a wide variety of criteria, including the talent pool,” an Amazon spokesperson said in response to the newly released bid. “But we also specifically sought to be in a diverse city and in an exciting community. Long Island City is just that.”
In November, Amazon announced plans to split its ballyhooed second headquarters between two cities: New York and the Washington D.C. area. Each is promised 25,000 of the total 50,000 jobs. In New York, that number could grow to 40,000.
In 2019, Amazon plans to move 700 employees into about 500,000 square feet of the former Citigroup tower in Long Island City. A rendering of that tower with Amazon’s logo where Citi’s currently resides was included in the New York proposal. Amazon plans to grow its Long Island City team to nearly 3,000 in 2020. That year, Amazon will also break ground on its waterfront campus, which faces the Manhattan skyline, if all goes according to plan.
Amazon has hired an elite lobbying firm to win over wary New Yorkers concerned about transparency and government subsidies the company will receive. New York officials announced a new Community Advisory Committee Tuesday to work with members of the neighborhood during the build-out. The New York City Council has scheduled three public hearings about the project kicking off Wednesday.
Read New York’s entire Amazon HQ2 proposal here.