After sifting through 238 proposals, e-commerce giant Amazon has whittled down its choices for a second headquarters to 20 locations — and Long Island City is one of them.
In October, the city chose four neighborhoods to pitch to Amazon — Midtown West, Long Island City, Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Lower Manhattan. These places were chosen because they met two key criteria: they have the square footage available for development (8.1 million square feet) and are close to public transportation and major airports.
Though Amazon did not specify which of the neighborhoods it is leaning toward, Queens may have a shot at becoming the place where the company brings as many as 50,000 jobs and invests more than $5 billion in construction.
Cities around the country tried making the case for why their location would best serve Amazon and many offered large tax incentives to entice the company. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered the company $7 billion in city and state tax incentives. Newark is one of 20 cities in contention.
New York City officials have said the company will not be eligible for any special incentives beyond what is available to other companies.
“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” the company said in a tweet.
In the proposal, Long Island City was described as a “creative, mixed-use neighborhood” and “the city’s industrial innovation center.”
Its proximity to JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Penn Station and Grand Central were touted along with its variety of restaurants, bars, museums and other cultural institutions. The neighborhood also has more than 13 million square feet of “first-class real estate,” according to the proposal.
Thomas Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said that he is “optimistic” about Long Island City’s chances.
“The Queens Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to learn that New York City, in particular, Queens County is one of the 20 finalists for hq2,” he said. “From day one, we rallied together, led by our Borough President Melinda Katz, along with NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and EDC President and CEO James Patchett to put together the very best proposal. I am optimistic that once all the boxes are checked by the leadership of Amazon, they, too, will understand why they need to put a flag in the ground of Queens County. Our educational resources, infrastructure and diversity sets us apart from all others.”
It is not clear when the company will announce its final decision.