FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Could Queens become the new home of Amazon’s headquarters?
BY ANGELA MATUA
firstname.lastname@example.org / @AngelaMatua
Amazon recently announced that it
would be looking at cities across the
country to open a second headquarters,
and New York City boroughs are jumping
at the chance to become a new home
to the proposed 8.1-million-square-foot
Th e e-commerce and technology company,
which is valued at $500 billion,
released a request for proposals (RFP)
earlier this month to encourage cities to
throw their hats in the ring. Amazon is
expected to invest more than $5 billion
to construct its second North American
headquarters, dubbed HQ2, which they
argue will create about 50,000 high-paying
The Economic Development
Corporation plans to submit a response
to Amazon in collaboration with the
Empire State Development Corporation
and is asking interested parties to submit
requests for expressions of interest
Recently, Amazon announced
that it would open a $100 million,
855,000-square-foot fulfi llment center in
Staten Island. It is expected to employ
2,250 people and slated to open sometime
next year. On Sept. 21, Governor Andrew
Cuomo announced that the company
would expand its presence in the state and
add a 359,000-square-foot administrative
offi ce at 5 Manhattan West.
But will the company choose New York
as the home of its new campus?
Aft er its announcement on Sept. 15,
offi cials from several boroughs took
immediate action to make the case to
Amazon that they had all the qualifi cations
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz
Jr. sent a letter directly to Amazon CEO
Jeff Bezos to outline why the borough
would be the top choice, highlighting its
proximity to the city’s airports and its
spike in development — the Bronx has
seen nearly $13 billion and 70 million
square feet of total development since
In Brooklyn, a number of major landlords
have banded together to submit
an RFP including Jamestown, Rudin
Management, Forest City and Rubenstein
Partners, according to Crain’s New York.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
President Andrew Hoan have also sent
a letter to Bezos to make their argument
as to why Brooklyn is the best place for
Queens is also making a pitch but has
been somewhat quieter about its eff orts.
Th omas Grech, the executive director
of the Queens Chamber of Commerce,
argues that Queens is exactly what
Amazon is looking for in a new headquarters.
“Based upon the RFI that Amazon has
put out there I think in every single one
of the categories Queens fi ts the bill,” he
Grech cited the abundance of transportation
options, including the city’s two
airports, and the “plethora of languages
cultures, ethnicities and so on that can
support the growth in U.S. and beyond.”
Amazon is looking for cities that can
provide employees a 45 minutes or less
commute to an international airport,
access to mass transit, a diverse population
and options for recreation, all of
which Queens can provide, Grech said.
Th ough several neighborhoods fi t the
bill, Grech said Jamaica would be a good
location for the new headquarters because
of its “transportation connections, both
land and air connections, as well as the
abundance of well-educated, tech-savvy
Th e neighborhood has also experienced
a boom in terms of development and was
recently awarded $100 million by the state
to revitalize its downtown.
Grech is working with Queens Borough
President Melinda Katz and the mayor’s
offi ce to make sure that Queens is well
represented in the RFP that will eventually
be submitted. Katz declined to comment
for this article.
He added that all of Queens would benefi
t if a company like Amazon moved in.
“Business small and large, things like
hotels and restaurants and other infrastructure
companies, data companies, IT providers
would benefi t,” he said. “It truly
would be a pebble in a pond. Th e ripple
eff ect would be tremendous with a behemoth
like Amazon to move to New York.”
Th e deadline to submit an RFEI is Sept.
29 and the deadline for the RFP is Oct. 19.
Photo via Shutterstock
Amazon is looking for a new headquarter and some are arguing that Queens should be the company’s
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