After a protest from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who helped drive off Amazon from accepting a deal in February for a New York City headquarters on the Queens waterfront, the company is reportedly back in the city looking for some serious square footage. According to the New York Post, Amazon executives are seriously considering leasing well in excess of 100,000 square feet in two new skyscrapers one block away from Penn Station on Manhattan’s West Side.
One Manhattan West, 67 stories tall, will be ready for occupants this fall. A sister tower, Two Manhattan West won’t be ready till 2022, but reports indicate the company is eyeballing space at the top of that yet-to-be-constructed building.
Brookfield, corporate owner of the two towers, has at this point denied the reports. However multiple legal sources indicate confidentiality agreements would prevent disclosure if plans are in place for such a lease.
For its part, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
The US Post Office building across the street, known as the James A. Farley building, is being developed by Vornado and is reportedly also being considered by Amazon. That building will have office space throughout five levels and will be ready for tenants in May 2020.
It’s probable that Ocasio-Cortez will soon find plenty of reason to regret her actions that led to the cancellation of Amazon’s plans for a 4-million square foot campus in Long Island City in the borough of Queens, though apologies are not expected.
“Queens residents had overwhelmingly supported plans for 25,000 new jobs with an average wage of $150,000, despite protests from Ocasio-Cortez and other politicians over $3.2 billion in capital grants and tax incentives,” according to The Post.
It was expected that each of those 25,000 new Amazon jobs in Queens would have delivered a multiplier effect, creating at least five more jobs in the area, such as at local coffee shops, restaurants, dry cleaners, and more.
The deal that Amazon walked away from after AOC’s opposition would also have reportedly involved an Amazon investment in a 600-student public school, a workforce training space, an artists’ workspace, and almost 150,000 square feet of public open space, among other projects. But never mind about all that. Poof, it’s all gone.
Having Amazon come in and occupy even huge amounts of office space in Manhattan is going to barely be felt, according to those in the know.
“The investment in Long Island City was going to create a whole cluster of activity around it,” said Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the non-profit Partnership for New York City. “No one is going to have that same impact in Manhattan unless you go to Upper Manhattan.”
Somehow though, the young socialist congresswoman thought she had notched a win by scuttling the deal in place earlier this year. In mid-February, she triumphantly tweeted about defeating “Amazon’s corporate greed” and “its worker exploitation” …
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
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