Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Real New York City Tale of Two Cities AMAZON

A Real New York City Tale of Two Cities: New York's Leaders Bring the Out of Town Techies into NYC, Pushing Out New York's Poor and Middle Class that Voted for Them and Build Out Great City

  A tale of two New Yorks: Billions for Amazon but rats, lead paint and mold for public housing via

Politicians who signed pro-Amazon letter now oppose city's deal (NYP)

n a case of be careful what you wish for, politicians who signed a boosterish Dear “Mr. Bezos” letter last year urging Amazon to come to New York City now oppose the deal as a giveaway.

The flippers include Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the frontrunner to become the city’s next Public Advocate.
Queens lawmakers Michael Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, now campaigning to scuttle the deal, also signed the enthusiastic letter to Amazon’s CEO.
Another signatory, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, now calls the deal “a scary precedent for every neighborhood.”
Bronx Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., who supports Amazon, accused the supporters-turned-critics of “hypocrisy.”
“Last year, I signed onto a letter encouraging Amazon to consider New York City as a site for its new headquarters. This was intended to be the beginning of a conversation,” Williams said in a statement.
Melissa Mark-Viverito, who signed the letter when she was Council speaker, tweeted, on Wednesday “$1.2 billion to lure a company that exploits working people and destroys organized labor. This is #debezosnewyork”.
State Sen. Gianaris, who represents the Long Island City, said, “When that letter was signed, many of us thought that the jobs would be good. We never contemplated that public dollars would secretly be given to Amazon to get that deal.”
Gov. Cuomo, who worked in tandem with Mayor de Blasio to negotiate the Amazon package, said the flippers are ignoring the benefits of snaring Amazon.
“I’m old enough to remember when these pols thought 40,000 direct jobs, a 107,000 total job impact, $27.5 billion in revenue and a 9 to 1 return on investment was

. goes after and for criticizing deal after their parent companies also took large tax incentives from state. Says the “New York Times was not about to move to Alabama and become The Alabama Times.”
A warning from Seattle: What Long Island City and New York as a whole must learn now from Amazon’s hometown (nydn)

Amazon employees are reportedly already buying up apartments in New York City — and they started before the company even announced HQ2

Corey Johnson rips Amazon's plans for private helipad(NYP)

As Mayor de Blasio touts Amazon as savior for nearby public housing, tenants shiver without heat once again (NYDN) 


NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen is Leaving de Blasio's Administration

How do legacies of & in shape the potential impact of and community responses to ? In this , we can see buildings built in the last 10 yrs in formerly redlined neighborhoods & CitiTower, to be rented by


What does Amazon’s HQ2 mean for Long Island City real estate?

Amazon’s presence will likely impact home in rent prices not just in Long Island City, but in those surrounding it and even further out

Amazon isn’t the first large corporation to set up shop in New York, and it likely won’t be the last. But many are now wondering what Amazon’s presence, and an influx of 25,000 well-paid workers, may mean for Long Island City’s culture, character, and—maybe most importantly—its housing. Additionally, the city’s adult population and job growth has been outpacing its affordable housing stock, and Amazon’s presence in Queens could contribute to the inequality issues the city is already facing.

Long Island City has, for the past few years, experienced a development boom that has shifted its once-industrial landscape into a largely residential one. In fact, a 2017 study found that the neighborhood has welcomed more new apartments (many of those market-rate) since 2010 than any other neighborhood in the county; by 2020, at least 6,400 more housing units will debut.
As a result, housing costs have been on a steady incline. According to StreetEasy, the median home price in Long Island City is around $769,000, while the median rent is $2,450/month. It’s already the priciest Queens neighborhood; since 2012, the median sales prices has jumped from $509,000 to its current amount, and its rents are significantly higher than the borough’s medians. And with news of Amazon moving in, interest in the neighborhood has already spiked, meaning things could get even more expensive—and quickly.
Amazon notes that the average HQ2 salary will be $150,000/year, and on the plus side, there’s no shortage of high-end developments for HQ2’s well-paid workers to choose from, should they choose to live in Long Island City. But that could still be a driving factor behind price hikes, though not necessarily within the neighborhood itself.


Insider gentrifying: Amazon employees buy LIC condos before HQ2 announcement

The deals came before the surge that followed the news


The company that’s killing storefront retail says it will deliver 25,000 jobs paying an average of $150,000 to Queens, while taking about $60,000 in public money and tax breaks for each of those jobs.

The trillion-dollar tech behemoth, de Blasio keeps saying, grandly if vaguely, is “going to transform people’s lives” here, as “the folks who live in Queensbridge Houses get an opportunity through Amazon; CUNY students get an opportunity through Amazon. It’s going to change their life forever.”

In wake of Amazon deal, Gianaris wants to bar state non-disclosure agreements with companies (NYT)

Amazon’s Recent New York Campaign Contributions Mostly to Members of Congress

AMAZON, NYC: Bezos takes Queens (Amasterdam News)

The firm Amazon used to lobby Albany is Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP. If that name sounds familiar to some it’s because it’s the same firm at the center of corruption scandals involving the governor. The firm employed Todd R. Howe who was the “bagman” for payments to Cuomo aide Joe Percoco. In September, Percoco was sentenced to six years in prison for accepting more than $300,000 in bribes.

Part of the deal between Amazon and New York also includes a signed nondisclosure agreement.

Amazon’s new home also happens to be a borough many immigrants from Central American countries call home. Knowing this, officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement have made it a point to do random checkups in Queens and look for undocumented immigrants to detain. In September, The Washington Post reported that Amazon officials pitched their facial-recognition system to ICE officials suggesting that the agency could use it to target and identify immigrants. Despite the negatives, some elected officials were happy to have Amazon make New York their home.

According to the reports by the Wall Street Journal, the announcement of Amazon coming to New York has sparked a real estate frenzy. With Long Island City already in the midst of nonstop construction and remaking of its skyline, brokers told the publication that they’ve been selling condo units in the area via text message (sight unseen) since the announcement. The boom in real estate worries certain organizational leaders who fear that Amazon in New York could lead to even faster rising rents, higher cost of living and the pushing out of working class residents similar to what happened in Seattle, the home of Amazon’s first headquarters. 

IC developer seals large deal "just days before the official Amazon announcement." via

Amazon and the Urban Hypocrite (NYT)

Is it O.K. to shop on Amazon for everything and still not want one of the world’s richest companies to invade Queens?

"On Friday an Amazon employee based in Seattle made a deal to buy a 1-bedroom condo at the Craftsmen Townhomes, a low-rise development in the neighborhood. ... One-bedroom condos at the Craftsmen are listed for $800,000 to about $1.2 million." via

Amazon Employees Join the Rush to Buy Long Island City Condos

City Council looking into legal ways to challenge Amazon deal(NYP)


The anti-Amazon opportunists: Pols complaining about subsidies are really just upset they didn't get a seat at the table (NYDN)


Paddling up the Amazon: Elected opponents are in no position to complain (NYDN)

New York lawmakers who last year said they'd be thrilled to see Amazon land in Long Island City lead a chorus of outrage greeting Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio's deal to bring as many as 40,000 high-end Amazon jobs to Long Island City.
They might as well shout at themselves, for leaving the door wide open for the retailing giant to hack the state's generous economic development programs.
Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris, a leader of the new Democratic majority, headlined a protest condemning $3 billion in state and city subsidies, about half of which comes at Cuomo's discretion.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson and local Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer shout about a planned detour around routine city land use reviews that include a Council vote.

If the critics are so concerned about the tax breaks bestowed on one of the biggest and richest companies in the world without outside review, they should have given a hoot more than a year ago, when New York joined more than 200 other municipalities to compete, if not many years ago, when such disbursements to attract companies began.

Nearly $900 million in Amazon's benefit haul comes automatically, just for setting shop outside midtown Manhattan. Another $400 million is autopilot property tax reduction — both under state law Gianaris made no move to change in his eight years in the Senate, but now says he wants to completely overhaul.
As for $1.2 billion in Excelsior tax credits Cuomo promises: The state previously awarded Amazon up to $45 million under the program for 4,800 new jobs, including at a Staten Island warehouse, and has doled out hundreds of other such breaks to companies in the five boroughs. Crickets.
As for Johnson and Van Bramer, they proved they can be little trusted with make-or-break power over transformative development when Van Bramer nixed a worthy affordable housing project in his district with Johnson and the rest of the Council's assent.
The protesting politicians squandered power. Amazon wielded it savvily. Calling for a do-over doesn't change the outcome of the game.

A great deal for New York City: Amazon's choice of Long Island City validates our progressive policies and strengthens our metropolis for the future (NYDN)

Manhattan Apartment Sales in 2018 Sink to Low Hit After Financial Crisis

Sales fell 12% from 2017 levels and 22.5% from peak sales levels in 2013, Wall Street Journal data show