Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following public statement on the announcement of Amazon’s HQ2 plans in New York City:
“New Yorkers are being told Amazon needs and deserves billions of dollars in payments and tax breaks to locate in Long Island City, minutes from Manhattan, when we have no certainty on a range of issues from local hiring to the effects on rents throughout the city.
“Moreover, the state plans to suspend local control over zoning – what gets built and where – not in order to build critical regional infrastructure, but to build a corporate headquarters. This sets a scary precedent for every neighborhood in every borough. This project should go through a full public review like any other major project and there should be a robust public engagement process.
“The consequences of thousands of new tech workers entering the housing market will be felt not just in Western Queens but in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and across the city. We’ll need something like 25 million square feet of new residential housing to offset the pressure of this new demand. And we’re not as well-prepared to fill many of these new jobs with local candidates as we should be: we must invest vastly more money and effort in tech training and career pipeline programs at CUNY.
“I’m thrilled that a tech giant like Amazon wants to be here, and I certainly want them here. But New Yorkers deserve to have more of a say, to know what they’re getting, and to know what it will cost before the pen hits the paper on this or any deal.”