Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Economy | By

Amazon delivers news of HQs in NY and Washington DC

Amazon delivers news of HQs in NY and Washington DC

The online shopping giant ended its 14-month-long competition for second headquarters by selecting Long Island City, Queens, and Arlington, Virginia, as the joint winners. Both are waterfront communities away from overcrowded business districts, giving Amazon space to grow.

New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim vowed to introduce legislation that would redirect the city's economic development subsidies to buying up and canceling student debt, Splinter News reported, effectively blocking Cuomo from offering taxpayer money to Amazon. Watch their remarks in the player above. In each city, this agreement is only binding provided the average wage for jobs created is over $150,000.

When asked why New York's bid was so much higher than Virginia's at a press conference on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out that Virginia's personal income tax is lower than New York's.

Others voiced worries that the influx of workers would drive up housing costs, crowd highways and otherwise strain local resources, as Amazon's expansion has in its hometown of Seattle, where it employs more than 45,000 people. But while many see it as an opportunity, not everyone is sold on the idea. New York City changed the lights on the Empire State Building to Amazon's signature orange color.

After a lengthy selection process that preoccupied several major cities across the U.S., Amazon publicly revealed the two locations of its second headquarters.

A $2 billion question: Did New York and Virginia overpay for Amazon?

The company has more than 610,000 employees worldwide, making it the second largest US -based, publicly-traded employer behind Walmart. Arlington promised $550 million in subsidies for its, while NY will shell out three times that amount.

The site in Arlington is just across the Potomac River from downtown Washington DC, which could give Amazon greater political influence in the capital.

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.

But Ocasio-Cortez sent out a series of tweets blasting the move, including one that said, "Amazon is a billion-dollar company".


The new outposts won't appear overnight.

Amazon today announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the location for its new headquarters, making official a choice that had been widely reported over the past week.

NY and Virginia beat out 18 others, including Los Angeles and Chicago, that were on a short list Amazon released in January.

The company said the new facility would create as many as 50,000 jobs and cost at least $5 billion to build and operate. It plans to hold company-wide events at the new locations, including shareholder meetings.

There were early signs that Amazon had its sights set on NY and northern Virginia. Among its 20 finalists, the company had selected two locations in the NY metro area and three in the D.C. area.

But will the Washington D.C. region be ready for it?

While it didn't win the main prize, Nashville, Tennessee, won't go empty handed.

"The state is still operating in the mindset of a New York City from 1980, where we're an economic basket case and we've lost our economic prestige and jobs", said James Parrott, director of the Economic and Fiscal Center at the New School.

- More than 25,000 full-time jobs with average wage exceeding $150,000.

Like this: