Amazon confirms new HQs in NYC and Virginia
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Nov 15, 2018,
Nov 15, 2018, 2:35
If the city and state can get Amazon to pay for improvements to infrastructure, schools and job training-all of which economists say are far better ways of helping the economy than offering multinational corporations tax benefits-the deal could work out well for NY.
In addition to Metrorail service, a newly expanded Virginia Railway Express station is also planned in Crystal City.
In a press conference later in the day on Tuesday, New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about the opportunity the deal presents for the city. Watch their remarks in the player above. However, the official statement released Tuesday left Beltway residents confused over what many online interpreted as a new name for the Arlington neighborhood Amazon plans to call home. Instead, it went with two of the nation's largest and most powerful metropolitan areas. "I think we need to take a breath and see what happens", said Nix. That's on top of the money being given directly to Amazon if the company brings in all of the jobs it has promised to the Crystal City area.
Officials in both Virginia and NY sought to point out that the tax benefits for Amazon were tied to job creation, and that they expected government coffers to see a positive return from Amazon's investments.
The combined offer from New York State and New York City is considerably richer than the one offered by Virginia, and does not require approval by any local or state legislative body. That works out to $61,000 in incentives provided to Amazon for each job in Long Island City and roughly $23,000 for each job in Arlington.
In the past year, two-bedroom apartments off the Anable Basin where Amazon would move have rented for an average $4,300 a month, according to brokerage site Streeteasy. And agents at Modern Spaces, a brokerage based in the neighborhood, were so busy on Sunday that they summoned management for reinforcement.
Amazon's employee total has ballooned to more than 610,000 worldwide, and that's expected to increase as it builds more warehouses across the country to keep up with online orders. In theory at least, the NY and Washington subway systems can ease housing price pressures by enabling workers to spread out.
"If you're a local retailer or small manufacturer or artist or writer or publisher, you're watching as your city and state hands your tax dollars to your most ferocious antagonist", she said.
The site in Arlington is just across the Potomac River from downtown Washington DC, which could give Amazon greater political influence in the capital. Large government contractors have offices and lobbying operations there. And the city and state will help arrange a private helipad for the company nearby.
- 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space.
The new outposts won't appear overnight.
With New Yorkers and D.C. -area residents incensed over the deals their elected officials have struck with Bezos, locals in the other cities which came close to being chosen for the company's second headquarters were breathing a sigh of relief with the news that their homes would not face the affordable housing crisis, rising income inequality, and traffic congestion that's befallen Seattle since Amazon opened there in 1994.
Combined, the areas have agreed to $2.4bn (£1.8bn) in public support for the project, nearly half the $5.2bn that Amazon itself said it would invest in hiring 55,000 new employees and 9m square feet of office space.
"These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come", said Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. It plans to hold company-wide events at the new locations, including shareholder meetings.
Amazon's new presence would push down Arlington County's office vacancy rate, which was elevated following the financial crisis and federal budget sequestration, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce said.