No, Amazon Didn't Just Rename a City 'National Landing.' Here's the Deal

The city of Stonecrest, Georgia offered to change its name to Amazon in an attempt to attract the online retail behemoth. "We've delivered on those promises and more, and today, with Amazon committing to expand its headquarters in Long Island City, New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in USA history".

But not everyone in NY and Virginia were happy about being chosen to become the spot for the new Amazon headquarter locations.

"At the end of the day I think it's neutral", Webb said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the public expense - and the possible number of jobs - would be even higher in Long Island City.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' deal for the Queens complex is expected to create 25,000 jobs, but the tabloid's front page Wednesday seemed to jab at the generous welcome wagon for the commerce company.

For its headquarters, the company didn't go with the richest offer.

New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens, was rallying opponents to the Amazon deal, claiming city and state officials offered too much in tax incentives.

Meanwhile, Lina Khan, a senior fellow with the Open Markets Institute, wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday: "Amazon extracting highly favourable terms, only to halve its promise and expect those same terms, is an exercise of bargaining power that will be familiar to numerous millions of merchants reliant on Amazon's platform".

The rally was organized by New York State Sen. It also wanted a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people and access to mass transit. Amazon will construct four million square feet of "energy efficient office space" on a waterfront parcel known as Anable Basin, with plans to grow to six or eight million square feet, according to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) [PDF] with the state and the city released yesterday.

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.

In the sweepstakes over Amazon's second headquarters, Virginia got a bargain - at least compared with its northern counterpart, New York City.


NY is making myriad other concessions to Amazon, including allowing construction of a helipad so executives can easily access the campus.

Virginia pledged a few other goodies, such as a commitment to "regulatory flexibility" in order to allow new technologies to operate in the area, as well as confidentiality for "all materials, communications, data, and information related to this Memorandum".

Last September, Amazon announced it was searching for a location for a second North American headquarters to base up to 50,000 high-paid employees.

There was no reference in the memoranda to collaboration on preserving housing affordability, hiring locally, or working with local educational institutions. Amazon had planned to expand its business with a new headquarters before launching a competition among 230 cities.

"It makes it even more important that our community works with the regions, increase the supply of housing", he said.

In New York, a similar storyline was playing out in a section of the city in the midst of transformation from its industrial past.

There's another cash grant of $325 million based on the company occupying a certain amount of office space.

Separately, Amazon is tapping NY state for grants and tax breaks worth more than $1.5 billion, the richest in state history and more than triple those offered by Virginia.

The agreement also pledges assistance in securing a helipad, with flights limited to 120 per year and limited to company executives.

Virginia Tech announced a new Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia on Tuesday. Real estate agents say they're hearing from investors who'd like to become landlords and from sellers who've chose to pull their homes off the market, sit back and wait for prices to go up, up, up. "So I don't have an idea about how they put together their transaction". The agreement also includes requirements for participation by minority and women-owned businesses in the construction process. Following are some of the perks Amazon says it will get, along with the perks for the cities.

Although it wouldn't qualify as a "headquarters", Nashville won 5,000 jobs, with Tennessee kicking in $102 million in tax incentives including a job subsidy worth $13,000 per head.


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