- Amazon is developing its second headquarters, HQ2, in two separate locations: the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, the company announced on Tuesday.
- New York's pitch of Long Island City to Amazon included boasts about "a creative, mixed-use neighborhood," more than 13 million square feet of real estate, and speedy commute times.
- We took a walk around Long Island City and saw why it would be appealing to Amazon.
Amazon will bring its second headquarters, HQ2, to two separate locations: the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, the company announced on Tuesday.
The two locations will house 25,000 employees each, instead of the 50,000 that was originally planned for HQ2.
The decision follows more than a year of speculation and lobbying by communities around the United States and Canada.
There had been less speculation about New York City than Northern Virginia, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently made his desire to host Amazon clear.
"I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes," Cuomo told reporters on November 5. "Because it would be a great economic boost."
Long Island City's proposal to Amazon included boasts about "a creative, mixed-use neighborhood," more than 13 million square feet of real estate, and speedy commute times.
Here's what Long Island City is like:
Long Island City is a neighborhood in Queens and is most easily accessible by the 7, N, W, and G subway trains. Some locals have expressed concerns that bringing an additional 25,000 workers to the area would overload an already crowded system.
Source: Business Insider
There are also a lot of Citi Bikes throughout the neighborhood.
I take the train to 36th Avenue, which is on the northern end of Long Island City.
The area, which borders Astoria, is very residential, with a lot of single-family homes and small apartments.
Many storefronts in the area appear to still be closed at 9 a.m. Walking around, you'll see many local businesses and quite a few stores with "for lease" signs in the window.
There is a lot of public housing in the area as well.
Closer toward Manhattan, Long Island City feels more industrial.
There are a lot of big empty buildings and warehouses that look like they could be turned into offices.
Farther south are brand-new high-rise apartments, with more under construction.
There is a lot of office space for rent ...
... on almost every block.
There's also more space being built.
In addition to offices for rent, there are a lot of buildings advertising their available apartments, which would be important for the 25,000 workers HQ2 would bring.
Walking even farther south, I reached the Queensboro Plaza train stop, which has the 7, N, and W trains. There are several other subway lines nearby.
On the other side of the tracks are a lot of new and under-construction buildings that look like they could be offices or apartments.
There are a number of businesses based in Long Island City, including Silvercup Studios ...
... JetBlue, and Altice USA.
Source: Chicago Business Journal
Bloomingdale's, Uber, Lyft, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Steve Madden also have offices in Long Island City.
Source: Chicago Business Journal
Many of the offices are housed on the southern side of the Queensboro Plaza station, in Court Square, which is accessible only from the 7 train.
Major developments are also being built on the waterfront on the southern end of Long Island City, closer to Brooklyn. The developments are more focused on housing than office space.
Source: Curbed NY
Long Island City has much of what Amazon is looking for, including a lot of space for real-estate development and commuting options.
Read more about Amazon's HQ2:
- Amazon officially announces its HQ2 will be split between New York and Virginia
- Amazon finally explains why it's cutting its second headquarters in half
- Amazon gained a huge perk from its HQ2 contest that's worth far more than any tax break
- Arlington, Virginia, lured in Amazon with promises of a helipad and a cash grant of up to $550 million