Amazon Picking Long Island City & Northern Virginia For Split HQ2

A pedestrian walks past a mural in the Long Island City neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York U.S. on Friday Nov. 9 2018

Amazon's possible construction of a new headquarters in New York's Long Island City with the aid of tax incentives would amount to "massive corporate welfare", according to two New York State politicians. Cities across the U.S. have spent months jockeying for a $5 billion investment that promises 50,000 high-paying jobs.

Amazon sparked a bidding frenzy in September, 2017, when it announced it would invest more than US$5-billion to create an "HQ2" in addition to its home base in Seattle and hire up to 50,000 people.

For the winners, though, Amazon validated that NY and Washington, D.C. have the environment needed by fast-growing, technology-driven companies. After narrowing it down to 20, company representatives visited each city.

The new sites in NY and Northern Virginia will add to Amazon's existing headquarters in Seattle, which consists of 8.1m sq ft over 33 buildings, with 24 restaurants and 40,000 employees. By January, Amazon announced it had narrowed its list to 20 cities - including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago - and said it would make a decision by the end of 2018.

Still, landing HQ2 would represent "incredible validation of just how far NY has come", says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think tank. Dozens of cities competed to lure Amazon to their locales, offering tax breaks and other incentives in the process.

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The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon's proposed plans earlier on Monday.

It's already the fastest-developing neighborhood in the nation's most populous city, and Amazon will pump up the volume in this buzzy part of Queens. Two HQ2 projects would also ensure that Seattle remains Amazon's definitive headquarters.

Cities across the USA have spent months jockeying for a $5 billion investment. "It was also a platform for cities to promote themselves to a global audience".

Once a bustling factory and freight-moving area, Long Island City saw many of its plants and warehouses closed as manufacturing shriveled in New York City.

Some 9,150 apartments and homes have been built since 2010, more than in any other New York City neighborhood, according to the city Planning Department. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office began moving more than 7,000 jobs out of Crystal City in 2003. But those projects will just catch up with current needs, says Councilman Jimmy van Bramer.

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