Amazon leases Hudson Yards office space less than year after HQ2 debacle
The e-commerce titan remains interested in the Big Apple
Amazon has inked a lease in midtown Manhattan less than a year after abruptly withdrawing from plans to bring half of its second North American headquarters to Queens, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The e-commerce giant told the newspaper that it has signed a lease for 335,000 square feet in Hudson Yards where it will have more than 1,500 employees. The arrangement is Amazon’s largest expansion in New York City since the company abandoned plans to situate half of its second headquarters in Long Island City’s Anable Basin. It’s worth noting that the HQ2 campus would have spanned between 6 and 8 million square feet over 15 years if the deal came to fruition, according to documents on the arrangement.
Under the HQ2 deal, which was brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Amazon said it would bring 25,000 jobs and $27 billion in tax revenue to New York. The effort faced fierce pushback from some community advocates and elected officials who criticized the roughly $3 billion in subsidies, a combination of tax incentive programs from the city and state, the company would receive in exchange for setting up shop in Queens.
Vocal critics of the deal included City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who represent Long Island City, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The congresswoman was quick to point out Amazon’s continued interest in New York City on social media after news of the Hudson Yards lease.
“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, & corporate giveaways,” she wrote in a Friday night tweet. “Maybe the Trump admin should focus more on cutting public assistance to billionaires instead of poor families.”
After Amazon abandoned its HQ2 plans, the New York business community feared that the backtrack could spell trouble for the city when trying to attract other tech giants and major companies to the city and state. News of the the company’s midtown expansion may put some of those fears to bed as Amazon joined the ranks of Google, Facebook, and Disney in snapping up prime Manhattan office space.
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