Amazon Headquarters in Long Island City, Queens
After a yearlong competition, Amazon selected New York City over 236 other cities as the site of a new headquarters. Beginning in 2019, Long Island City will be the company’s northeast home. Amazon will initially create 25,000 good-paying jobs over 10 years, with a plan to grow to 40,000 over 15 years.
Why New York City?
New York’s tech ecosystem is in the middle of a renaissance and New York has positioned itself to be the best city in the world for innovation.
Currently the 2nd largest start-up ecosystem in the world, employment in tech jobs grew by more than 20% in NYC and has grown nearly three times as fast as the nation’s. Since 2014, the NYC tech ecosystem comprises 7,000+ startups, 120+ incubators, 96 co-working spaces, 955 venture capital firms, 326,000 tech jobs, $12.3B in angel and VC financing in 2017, and more than 120 universities, with most offering computer science education.
Representing $30 billion in wages annually, the technology industry is among the fastest growing and the highest paying sectors in NYC. It also continues to diversify:
Over 100 organizations provide accelerated tech training, and 22 bootcamp programs serve over 2,000 people annually.
Roughly 2.3 million New Yorkers have a bachelor’s degree or higher, more than San Francisco, LA, Boston, Philly, and Washington D.C. combined.
New York already has more software engineers than any other city, double the number of Boston and San Francisco, and triple that of Philadelphia.
Immigrants make up 46% of NYC’s workforce and approximately 47% of NYC's technology workers are foreign born. More than 138 languages are spoken in the World’s Borough of Queens.
New York City metro retains 71.1% of students graduating from four-year institutions, more than any other large US metro area.
Long Island City
A creative, mixed-use neighborhood with a rich legacy as the City’s industrial innovation center.
LIC has its roots as an industrial neighborhood and today fosters an ecosystem of businesses in advanced manufacturing, design, tech and the arts. With its proximity to other central business districts and innovation centers like Cornell Tech, our work in LIC has long been focused on supporting current and future businesses and strengthening the area as a central business district. LIC is at the literal center of New York City, connected to the other boroughs by 8 subway lines, 15 bus routes, 2 ferry routes, connection to LIRR, 1 tunnel and 6 bridges. Over 1.6M workers live within a 45-minute commute.
In 2019, Amazon will occupy office space at One Court Square, beginning its New York City expansion with approximately 700 new jobs in 2019 and growing to nearly 3,000 in 2020.
In 2020, following public approvals, Amazon will begin to construct its waterfront campus around Anable Basin on public sites and private parcels that have long been owned by Plaxall, a local family industrial business.
Jobs & Workforce
With 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs, Amazon HQ2 provides opportunity for local jobseekers. The City, State, and Amazon have already identified initial investments in workforce development, with more to come.
Amazon, the City and the State will each initially commit $5M ($15M total) in 2020 to launch new programs to train underrepresented segments of the workforce.
A local nonprofit will open a 10,000 square-foot onsite employment and training center on the Amazon campus, to actively train and recruit in the LIC community.
The City will expand its successful JobsPlus program to Queensbridge Houses, which assists with job searching and placement and provides financial incentives for employment. This $10M expansion will train and place 1,500 Queensbridge residents in jobs over the next ten years.
The City will launch a new Queens-focused program to train NYCHA residents for careers in IT, cybersecurity, and web development. This $3-5 million commitment will serve 200-300 residents.
Amazon’s arrival will mean enhancements and amenities for people living and working in LIC.
The State will conduct a SEQRA environmental review to ensure that potential impacts, such as transportation or other infrastructure challenges, are identified and addressed.
Amazon will donate space for a new 600-seat school.
Amazon will build 3.5 acres of public waterfront open space at Anable Basin, which will connect to Gantry State Park and Hunters Point South Park to form a contiguous waterfront park.
Amazon will build 260,000 square feet of onsite affordable light industrial space, 25,000 square feet for non-profit art uses, and local retail and restaurants.
A portion of Amazon’s property taxes paid through a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) will be dedicated to a new $650M Long Island City Infrastructure Fund. The fund will be guided by ongoing input from a working group comprising community members, elected officials, businesses and other local stakeholders.
These investments build upon a total of approximately $2.5 billion of recent and planned infrastructure investments in LIC, including $180 million in recently announced funding for sewers, schools, streets, and parks. For more information, see the Long Island City Investment Strategy website.
The MTA is working to address transit issues through new signal systems that will increase capacity on the 7 line, a borough-wide bus network plan, and accessibility improvements to local subway stations.
LIC has recently added more residential units than any other zip code in the country, and has 6,400 new units coming on line in the next few years.
This is the largest single effort to attract new jobs in New York State history. It is projected to deliver over $186 billion in economic impact to New York over the next 25 years, including over $14B in tax returns to the State and over $13.5B to the City.
This project represents a 9 to 1 return on the State and City’s incentives, which is the highest return on investment we’ve ever had for an economic development project.
The increased tax revenue generated by Amazon’s new headquarters will be used to upgrade infrastructure, improve transportation, invest in our schools, and deliver services to New Yorkers.
The State will commit up to $1.7B in Excelsior Tax Credits and capital grants, based on Amazon’s delivery of job and investment commitments. Amazon will only receive incentives if/when they achieve their job and investment goals.
The City is providing no discretionary subsidies.
Under the City’s preexisting as-of-right programs, Amazon is eligible for a partial property tax abatement through ICAP and an annual credit of $3,000 for 12 years per eligible employee under REAP, a program available to all companies to encourage job growth outside of Manhattan.
REAP benefits for Amazon’s initial 25,000-job expansion are projected at $897 million through 2038, and ICAP will abate approximately $386 million in property taxes.
Timeline & Process
Over the coming months, the City, State, and Amazon will be engaging stakeholders in Long Island City and beyond to help inform, advise and guide the project. There will be many opportunities for New Yorkers to engage and provide feedback.
The City and the State have established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to share information and solicit ongoing community input about Amazon’s planned headquarters project. Members of the CAC will work through three subcommittees to develop plans for the headquarters and onsite amenities, investments in neighborhood infrastructure, and training and hiring programs. The CAC comprises community and citywide stakeholders recommended by local elected officials.
The State will work in collaboration with the City to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and General Project Plan (GPP) for the project. This process has historically been used by the State and City to advance significant joint development projects. The EIS and GPP processes typically take 12-18 months and involve a series of public hearings and meetings:
A scoping hearing to ensure public participation in defining the scope of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
Three ESD Board meetings at which the public can comment on the record.
An additional hearing on the GPP and DEIS, with opportunity for public comment.
A City Planning Commission meeting where the Commission will consider the project and vote on a formal recommendation to the ESD Board.
News & Press
Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo Announce Community Advisory Committee to Guide Amazon Headquarters Project
December 11, 2018
Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposals
Released September 7, 2017
NYCEDC Site Identification Request for Expressions of Interest
Released September 15, 2017
NYCEDC Talent Identification Request for Information
Released September 21, 2017
New York Metro Area Amazon HQ2 Proposal
Submitted October 18, 2017
Request for Information Response
Submitted March 5, 2018
Memorandum of Understanding between the State, City & Amazon
Memorandum of Understanding between the State, City & Plaxall
Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City Fact Sheet
Updated December 12, 2018
NYCEDC Testimony at the New York City Council Amazon HQ2 Oversight Hearing
Delivered December 12, 2018
Amazon Testimony at the New York City Council Amazon HQ2 Oversight Hearing
Delivered December 12, 2018
Winter 2019 Citywide Outreach Deck