Dec. 9, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Less than a year after Amazon backed out of opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, the e-commerce giant announced it would open a new office in New York City — but this time in Manhattan and with far fewer jobs.
Amazon has signed a lease for 335,000 square feet in Hudson Yards on the borough’s west side. The new office will employ 1,500 workers and will open in 2021.
The jobs created are a fraction of the 25,000 that Amazon’s headquarters, dubbed the HQ2, would have brought to Long Island City.
The Long Island City plan would have provided Amazon with nearly $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies. The Manhattan deal comes with none.
The announcement, however, reignited the heated debate over the scuttled Amazon deal.
“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, & corporate giveaways,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of the main opponents of Amazon coming to Long Island City, which lead to the company abandoning its Queens plan.
But Governor Andrew Cuomo, who spurned critics of the Long Island City deal, said that Amazon’s Hudson Yard’s announcement should not be seen as a great victory for New York nor Queens in particular.
“This is crumbs from the table compared to a feast,” Cuomo told the Associated Press. “We don’t have a problem bringing businesses to Manhattan but we have been trying for decades to get that Queens waterfront developed.”
State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been at odds with Cuomo for some time, viewed Amazon’s latest announcement as a win for New Yorkers.
“Amazon is coming to New York, just as they always planned,” Gianaris said in a statement. “Fortunately, we dodged a $3 billion bullet by not agreeing to their subsidy shakedown earlier this year.”
But Justin Potter, a Long Island City resident who will be challenging Gianaris in the Democratic primary next year, was critical of Gianaris.
Potter tweeted “Do you want a representative who recognizes that 1,500 jobs in Manhattan is not the same as 25,000 jobs in Queens?”