Going out on a limb here but I would not be surprised if Amazon’s HQ2 (a $5 billion investment) ends up in Brooklyn, specifically at Industry City, a 6.5 million square foot complex in Sunset Park. Proposals are due by Oct. 19 with final decisions made sometime next year.
My guesstimate for Brooklyn is based on Amazon’s list of conditions as well as their already robust presence in NYC.
- First and foremost, Amazon wants a city with at least 1 million people. Only ten cities in the US qualify although the list expands to almost 50 if you include metropolitan areas.
- They want an area with a “stable” economy that is “business friendly” (NYC is not exactly “business friendly” but Amazon may turn a blind eye if they receive sufficient tax incentives)
- They want an initial building of 500,000 square feet at a location that could eventually accommodate 8 million square feet of office space. Industry City comes *this* close to fitting the bill.
- A highly educated labor pool is critical and the location must be able to attract and retain technical talent. HQ2 will create 50,000 new jobs with average compensation exceeding $100,000.
- They want access to major highways, mass transit and proximity to an international airport. We’ve got that covered.
- And finally, Amazon wants a high quality of life and a cultural community fit. Per the Brookings Institute, this favors sites that resemble urban Seattle—complete with a range of housing, walkability, and transit and entertainment options.
Read on below for info on Amazon’s existing presence in NYC as well as for other cities considered top contenders for HQ2. (And btw, if not NYC, I’d go with Atlanta!!)
Amazon is already planning to create 6,000 jobs across New York state by 2019.
“We’re excited to expand our presence in New York – we have always found great talent here.” …Paul Kotas, Amazon Sr. VP Worldwide Advertising.
- Next year, Amazon will open a new office in Manhattan at Hudson Yards.
- They’ve taken 360,000 square feet of space at Brookfield’s 5 Manhattan West (Hudson Yards)
- The advertising team will be housed there including marketing, product, design and engineering. Full-time positions are also available for Amazon Web Services and Amazon Fashion.
Amazon is also planning to open a fulfillment center in Staten Island. It already houses a fashion photo studio in Brooklyn, along with two Amazon Books locations in New York City.
Top Contenders for HQ2 Per CNBC:
CNBC ranked the top 5 cities meeting Amazon’s criteria as: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.