Scores protest against new Amazon HQ in Queens, NY

Scores protest against new Amazon HQ in Queens, NY

Scores protest against new Amazon HQ in Queens, NY

But the company's confirmation yesterday that it would split $5 billion in investment and more than 50,000 jobs between the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia - just outside Washington, D.C. - and the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in NY attracted ire from the company's critics, who said it was "unfathomable" that the states would be offering hundreds of millions to the ecommerce giant.

"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 Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive.

The second headquarter location in Arlington, Virginia, is not a designated "opportunity zone", nor is Nashville, which will be the cite of Amazon's new operations hub. In each city, this agreement is only binding provided the average wage for jobs created is over $150,000. Up to $1.2 billion will come from New York State's Excelsior program, which is a discretionary tax credit.

Ten years down the road when a large tech firm or e-commerce powerhouse is looking to set down roots a new city, Dallas should do the work necessary to make sure it sits atop the list right from the start.

The company will receive up to $550 million United States dollars (roughly $728.52 million CAD) as a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as an additional $23 million USD (roughly $30.47 million CAD) cash grant from the City of Arlington over 15 years based on incremental growth forecasts. Virginia will also invest $195 million in infrastructure improvements to Metro stations and pedestrian routes near the project.

The $5 billion investment will mean thousands of high-paying jobs in the two locations, but could also strain services and housing in areas with already high living costs.

The state office of economic development said they never sent a formal offer to the tech giant.

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The decision was finally declared on Tuesday after a year-long bidding battle between more than 200 cities that had winded down to the 20 finalists last January including Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

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. The housing market will be one aspect to watch as Amazon employees and executives start exercising the option to move to NY or Virginia, Bishop recently told KIRO Radio.

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.

Parilla described the conundrum facing cities wooing big companies as a "prisoner's dilemma".

"The region adds 50,000 jobs every year, and no one complains about that", Fuller said. Amazon created a new neighborhood for its headquarters 2 spanning two northern Virginia cities.

"These two markets definitely can absorb this kind of employment shock - and they have some time to prepare for it", he said. "Nobody really knows the answer except Amazon".

Furthermore, it's more than likely that Amazon used its final bids from the competing cities as leverage in the deals it was most interested, thereby artificially inflating the worth of the deal. In Virginia, Democratic Senator Mark Warner told a conference on Tuesday: "This process is probably the most unique economic development".

The New York Building Congress, a coalition of construction and design groups, said: "Amazon will be a tremendous boost to New York's economy and stimulate countless industries, from technology and innovation to design and construction". The building's anchor tenant, Citi, plans to move most of its employees out in 2020, leaving 1 million square feet of office space vacant.

Arlington County officials say Amazon HQ2 will send housing prices up.

Nicholas Bienstock, a Savannah managing partner, said the company was "thrilled" by Amazon's choice and thanked Citi "for its critical role in facilitating delivery of the space". By many accounts, Crystal City is a soulless office park surrounded by parking, but some have pointed out at least there's not an already great neighborhood there to be ruined.

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