by Sheri Urban
In a stinging reproach to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts who scuttled the deal by which Amazon would have built a headquarters in Queens, Ocasio-Cortez’s district, Amazon is reputedly going to place its headquarters…in Manhattan instead!
You heard right. The people in other districts of NYC will benefit, while AOC’s own Queens constituents got hung out to dry for tens of thousands of jobs and billions in development by their own elected Representative.
According to The New York Post, Amazon is working with Brookfield, the owners of the One Manhattan West building and its impending partner, Two Manhattan West, starting with securing “at least 100,000 square feet or much more.” Although Two Manhattan West won’t be equipped for tenants until 2022, 67-story One Manhattan West will be ready by autumn 2020 and boasts a 250,000-square-foot space inside. The massive space is not available in perpetuity, but it can fit Amazon’s needs until Two Manhattan is ready, according to the Post’s sources.
The Post noted, “Brookfield, which owns the two Manhattan West towers (and another at 5 Manhattan West, where Amazon is already a tenant), denied through a spokesman that it was leasing to the Seattle company. But multiple sources pointed to the company’s strict confidentiality agreements as a potential reason.”
Sources told the Post that Amazon is also thinking of renting space in the U.S. Post Office building across from the Brookfield buildings.
Amazon had originally planned to construct a four-million-square-foot campus in Long Island City. Queens residents were delighted with the prospect of the rumored 25,000 jobs that were mentioned, as well as the effect on local businesses.
Alfredo Ortiz, president & CEO of the Job Creators Network told the Post that for every job Amazon would have created, a multiplier effect would have affected five or more other jobs in Queens.
The Post noted, “The Long Island City deal would also have seen Amazon invest in a 600-seat public school; a workforce development and training space; an artists’ workspace; and 149,650 square feet of public open space, among other projects — all of which is now lost.”
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement. In the statement, Amazon noted that “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”
Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the demise of Amazon’s plans, tweeting, “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.”
State senator Michael N. Gianaris chortled, “Rather than seriously engage with the community they proposed to profoundly change, Amazon continued its effort to shakedown governments to get its way. It is time for a national dialogue about the perils of these types of corporate subsidies.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a shot at Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts, issuing a statement in which he said, “A small group politicians [sic] put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.”
Elections have consequences. But in 2020 — when she’s up again, and has to face an electorate of which, according to polls, 67% approved of the Amazon deal she killed.
No 25,000 – 100,000 jobs. No new schools. No public works projects. All will go elsewhere…and for no reason other than her massive ego.
AOC’s next election night may not be quite the same “surprise” she saw last November.