After Slaughtering 40,000 New Jobs, Progressive NIMBYs Are New York City’s Number One Enemy

Site map illustrates the location of the new Amazon "HQ2" headquarters in Long Island City / TF Cornerstone's next Hunters Point South skyscrapers

The story of Amazon’s selection of Long Island City for the company’s second headquarters stoked the hopes and dreams of many New Yorkers living within the Five Boroughs, with the company’s promise to bring up to 40,000 new jobs averaging $100,000 per year to Queens, by 2033. Unfortunately, due to the actions of a few elected Democrats, these hopes and dreams have now been squashed, as Amazon has now pulled out of Long Island City. Despite petitions and basic organizing advocating for the new HQ2, the combined Twitter presence of a rabid horde of regressive leftists led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez generated sufficient outrage for cancellation.

On the surface, the argument was apparently about the $3 billion in subsidies Amazon would have received for relocating up to 40,000 new jobs to the Five boroughs. However, Cortez also celebrated the
announcement on Twitter as a call to action against perceived gentrification. In either case, 40,000 jobs bringing in $100,000 per year apiece would have yielded almost $400 million in local and state tax revenue each year, more than equaling any subsidies by 2030, and offering a potent revenue stream for both state and local coffers in the decades beyond.

Unfortunately, it appears the outrage politics that have proliferated since the advent of social media are now on the verge of consuming New York City’s future. Following the cancellation of HQ2, Cortez took to
Twitter to celebrate depriving 40,000 New Yorkers of prospective employment. Cortez was joined half-heartedly by Mayor Bill De Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, both of whom deemed Amazon “unfit” to compete in New York City due to the breakdown in negotiations.

While the Twitter outrage machine may be cranking out propaganda in full force, the reality on the ground is that New Yorkers are extremely upset by the loss of a prospective major national headquarters with all its accompanying opportunities and benefits. Reflecting the dire reality of living within NYCHA, which is still falling apart despite promises for fixes from elected politicians, the Queensbridge, Astoria, Woodside and Ravenswood NYCHA houses’ tenant associations released the following statement.

“From the beginning, grandstanding politicians who refused to be at the table dismissed the work of those of us who were. They put petty politics above true public service and they spread misinformation to
whip up the small band of opponents. Jim Van Bramer and Mike Gianaris used to be the politicians we came to when we needed help. This time, they didn’t even talk to us. They never asked what we, the people of NYCHA, actually wanted. They put their own political interests above their constituents and did not meet with us or even listen to us. The grandstanding politicians will try and blame Amazon and anyone but themselves for this disaster. Nobody should believe them – they let us down.”

Middle class and low-income New Yorkers would have been the primary benefactors of Amazon’s second headquarters, with benefits extending from tens of thousands of new salaried jobs down to the externalities derived from the tax dollars paid by those same jobs, a large portion of which would have helped fix the subway and maintain NYCHA. Instead of generating an abundance of opportunities, Long Island City is now left with a gaping hole and a reputation as a location that is hostile to new business, which may have an impact even more lasting than what would have happened had Amazon actually relocated to the neighborhood.

While the decision on Amazon is certainly disturbing, it is not the only assault on the middle and lower classes currently being mounted by New York City’s elected regressives.

YIMBY recently analyzed the issue of mechanical voids, which will soon wind its way through City Planning thanks to an ill-conceived text amendment proposed by opponents of high-density development. Beyond depriving New York City of the daring architecture which should characterize a world-class city, the amendment would also make it substantially more difficult for developers to reach heights that achieve absurdly high prices per square foot. Despite the hyperbole of their moneyed opponents, these kinds of towers actually do benefit New York’s middle class and poor, through eventual absurd property taxes that are based on the valuations achieved through sky-high positioning. Any loss of height in this instance is an eventual hit on the bottom line of New York’s local government, which depends on tax dollars to function, as well as the programs supported by property taxes.

Beyond the mechanical voids and Amazon, New York’s regressives have also proposed legislation to limit the security deposits New Yorkers are required to pay when renting prospective apartments. Without large security deposits, tenants with no credit or bad credit would be outright prevented from achieving housing security. On the surface, the cause may seem benevolent, but in actuality, it would prevent the
flexibility many landlords now enjoy in requiring larger deposits for financially insecure tenants, leaving them out in the cold entirely.

These are three major issues now being actively advocated by a tiny minority of outraged Democrats that will have major repercussions for all New Yorkers in one way or another, but they will be especially
damaging to New York’s most vulnerable. Reducing property taxes is damaging to schools, infrastructure, and local government itself. Eliminating landlords’ flexibility in requiring large security
deposits would actually reduce the ability of low-income tenants to find housing security. And the implosion of Amazon’s HQ2 deal has now deprived these same groups of up to 40,000 job opportunities, and all of their ancillary benefits, including what would have been an additional $400 million in annual state and local tax revenues derived from those new salaries alone.

Outside observers may say that these wounds are self-inflicted, as these officials were indeed elected. But New York City’s local elections are also a complete farce, with participation generally struggling to surpass 20% of registered voters. With non-competitive local elections and races usually deprived of any competent opposing candidate, the Five Boroughs have effectively become the equivalent of Caracas or Pyongyang, and its denizens are now paying the price wrought by a well-organized but tiny minority of overall voters, who would gladly see New York City fail under the tried-and-failed politics that generally typify repressive regimes rather than American democracy.

New York City is the beating heart of global capitalism. At over 400 years old, that beating heart is now showing signs of wear and tear, just as any organ of substantial age would. Instead of allowing what amounts to reconstructive surgery, i.e. Amazon HQ2, to help fund additional infrastructure and the government itself, New York City’s regressives would rather choke off the blood-flow completely, without rhyme or reason, and only for the benefit of a select group of wealthy donors. There are literally no words to truly express how insanely stupid the actions against Amazon have been, but worse, there is no way to remove the elected officials responsible for these actions, as New York City has essentially devolved into a one-party state, with no viable checks and balances remaining to prevent the situation that has now unfolded in Long Island City.

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173 Comments on "After Slaughtering 40,000 New Jobs, Progressive NIMBYs Are New York City’s Number One Enemy"

  1. This is hilarious. The only thing that happened was that Bezos ran a phony competition whose only aim ws to extract tax dollars from places (DC and NY) where he already knew he wanted to be. When some people made noise and Bezos realized he didn’t have total control over NY Politicians who might in the future demand Amazon allow a union or I don’t know, pay taxes…Bezos threw a tantrum and stormed off to DC like the arrogant jerk he is.

    • EXACTLY!!

      • You are a fool. Why would amazon come to newyork when 200 other cities gave them an even larger incentive.
        I love to see AOC replace one job that even pays 70k.
        This is what happens when the looser officials follow a 29 year old socialist bartender to decide what’s best for nyc.

    • I’m guessing the “Tulip” name is a reference to your economic philosophy? Amazon wisely backed-out because they were being shaken-down by a bunch of poverty pimps. The lesson here is for those who think NYC thrives on magic and personality and can never be replaced. Amazon had the option to NOT DEAL WITH YOUR BS, and chose to. They won’t be the last. This was a monumental error that you’ll be reminded of for decades to come. Enjoy~!

  2. Wow. I come to this site for interesting news about new architecture in New York, and I visit at least once daily. But no more. This absurd diatribe against progressive politics belongs on Fox News, not New York Yimby. There are many arguments for and against Amazon’s expansion — I personally fall against it, because of the immediate gentrification it would cause and because an almost-trillion dollar company deserves no special tax treatment — but this piece is just insulting and venomous.

    I’ll be removing this site from my bookmarked favorites and taking my traffic elsewhere. I don’t know who authorized this post, but you REALLY messed up.

    • You obviously haven’t been following this site as much as you claims Steven, bc the author of the piece is the owner of it and this is standard fare. In case you forgot – it’s called YES in my backyard. As an admitted NO in my backyarder, complaining here about AMZ because of ostensible ‘gentrification’ concerns (as if that’s a bad thing??), you are right – you probably don’t belong here. Enjoy trafficking your NIMBYISM somewhere else where ppl care. Here we actually celebrate growth and want to encourage progress. Best yet if you take your regressive attitude out of NYC altogether – this is part of the problem!!

      • I have no issue with differing opinions. As I said in my original comment, arguments can be made pro and con over Amazon.

        But there was no need whatsoever for the aggressively hostile tone of the piece, or for your reply.

        • I agree. I really like YIMBY and subscribe to its principles, but this post was over the top. But everyone is entitled to go off the rails every once in a while. If this doesn’t happen with regularity, I will stay as a subscriber and a supporter. I appreciate the author’s passion, but it really doesn’t help the debate to go crazy and attack people who are also sincerely passionate. This was a disappointment for someone who really enjoys this website. Let’s move on.

      • Exactly, and I thanked author too, thank you YIMBY, shame of NIMBY socialist progressives!!!

      • Thank you for running this article – It is IMPORTANT information and very happy to read it in YIMBY – you’re at the top of MY bookmarked favourites – keep up the great flow of information.

    • EXACTLY!!
      Weak politicians! They didn’t even look at what Bezos did in Seattle! DeBlasio & Cuomo don’t agree on anything and all of a sudden they unite to screw New Yorkers! Not going through the normal land use approvals (ULURP) is disgraceful! We’ve heard enough of these “promises” to know they never happen and there’s no oversight in place.

    • You’re a NIMBY. This site is YIMBY. You were lost so glad we cleared things up for you.

    • “immediate gentrification it would cause”??? Ah hellurrr! Too late the gentrification happened OVER a decade ago. I lived in Hunter Pt (section of LIC) when I paid $1000 for a 2 bedroom apartment in 2001. Guess how much that would cost now??!!! $4,000!! AND AMAZON’S not even there!!! GENETRIFICATION argument is BS. Families are moving out cause it’s already too expensive to raise a family there. Politician’s allowing all the luxury buildings to go up not addressing the infrastructure…why? cause RE developers lace their pockets!! I’ve lived and live in western queens all my life, these elected officials serve only 1 … THEMSELVES. They are the greedy ones. I know, I personally have met with them and privy to the corruption and lies they do/state. disgusting.

    • Good riddance

  3. Not liking this for my AM architecture read. Stick to what you know please.

    • Pls take your NIMBYISM somewhere else Ian.

    • Any decent editor could have kept this interesting and concise regarding amazon. Meanderinging into the political process and inefficient mechanical voids this made an uncomfortable if not anger inducing read. Will not be clicking on any prices by author in future and questioning weather to continue my daily visit.

      • Guess I need an editor too. Pieces; whether.

        • Actually, it’s called connecting the dots of the common denominator behind these disparate events, and the motivating theme behind the politics of it all. I mean seriously – the facts are that I’m every example he cites, they are happening or not happening bc of politics. So how is a piece that condemns the very politics that are inhibiting these events irrelevant to the issue at hand?? Amazon didn’t suddenly just decide to leave NYC bc their mood shifted. And there’s a reason why the politics were so inhospitable to them: envious, regressive leftists. This one is not hard, but I guess for those who share those ideologies, the truth triggers.

      • YIMBY won’t loose, but your beloved politicians will be loosing our votes!!!

        • Learn how to spell, Jack.

          • Jack Liberman | February 17, 2019 at 4:55 am |

            I don’t care about your comment, I like YIMBY site, and now I even more like and support position of the owner, because I’m for Capitalist United States of America, not a Socialist one!!! Free Market of Global Capitalism where NYC is a Centerpiece of World Capital!!! Not Hong Kong but NYC!!!!

        • Jack, if you despise socialism then why are you ok with a 3-billion taxdollar giveaway to lure Amazon to LIC? That’s not capitalism.

  4. A win for NYC, in my opinion!

  5. Nikolai, you laughably bitter little bitch: stick to what [you think] you know. No one wants to read your skewed views on “progressive politics.” You’re out of your league here.

    • Then stop reading this dude. Better yet – pls take your nasty attitude & NIMBYISM out of our city altogether.

      • His comment wasn’t NIMBYISM. And as a “yimby,” I agree that this article is off the rails and that it got absurdly negative and political. This site has value as a site that builds excitements about new developments while sharing interesting information about the architects, developers, deals, etc. This political tantrum of an article makes me want to remove my name from the mailing list and stop frequenting the site.

  6. george e thomas | February 16, 2019 at 9:30 am | Reply

    Wow! A century ago Philadelphians decided that they needed a big public parkway instead of the massive array of high-tech industries — the Silicon Valley of the steam age– that had shaped its economic power for half a century. The Parkway was constructed and the big industries left for other sites and quickly lost the connectivity that had made them so successful. Half a century later de-industrialization had left Philadelphia an impoverished shell that is only now regaining some of its prosperity as it shifts to the types of jobs that Amazon supports.

    But the loss of course is more than the Amazon and subsidiary jobs. Construction jobs would have followed, then service jobs, restaurant jobs, new housing construction jobs to house the different workforce. And of course, there would have been infrastructure improvements that would have created more jobs and benefited the entire region.

    New York made its future by being open to the world. This is not a good sign.

  7. Harold K Wiebusch | February 16, 2019 at 9:31 am | Reply

    So the Progressives don’t want to read about what they have reaped. As a former New Yorker I found a lot to like from this article, especially the fact about low voter turnout. Why anyone who is productive is still living in NYC is beyond me.

  8. This was a terribly short-sighted NIMBY movement led by a few loud and organized Hipsters. The working class, whom @AOC claims to represent, will lose most of all, and they know it, as evidenced in this article.
    No one wants to give tax breaks to billion-dollar companies, except Amazon itself. But until every other city pledges not to compete – an impossibility – that’s how the game is played. This time, the Governor and Mayor came together – itself a newsworthy event – to create a generation defining development, a record for the state and city in its size. It almost certainly won’t happen again and the city will stagnate like the old cities of Europe, but without the rich history and iconic architecture.
    Amazon, it must be admitted, should have been New York tough, and tried to negotiate, but it’s also understandable that they thought they would be forever picketed, harassed and made to feel unwelcome.
    NY lawmakers could have sought other ways to keep small businesses in the area (how about a progressive property tax, that increases psf as store sizes increase?), minimum wages – living wages, etc.
    There’s still a chance of a reversal, really a major revision, but I can’t talk about it here and I give it a 1% chance, given the political climate and understandable reluctance of the Mayor and Governor to stick their necks out again.

  9. It’s too early for April Fool’s. Ridiculous post, is this sponsored? Taking my views elsewhere, try advertising on Fox News

    • Truth hurts doesn’t it John. Take your NIMBYISM somewhere else pls.

      • Again… his comment wasn’t NIMBYISM.

        • Yes, it was. Just what do you think kills the developments that this site is set up to advance and celebrate?? NIMBYISM doesn’t spring from some random well; it is rooted in political philosophy; specifically – the crazy envious statist mentalities of the political Left, that either want to protect their own views & territories (& thus violate others’ property rights), or to hold others down just bc some are unequal under capitalism (& this violate others’ rights again). Starts and ends in same place; pay attn & connect the dots!

  10. Great piece Nikolai – you hit the nail on the head, particularly your connecting point fingering NYCs monopoly politics and uncompetitive elections as a root cause of the problem. That the regressives clapping at you above here are so nasty & ignorant proves your point: they really *are* the public enemy no. 1 to a more positive YIMBY culture in NYC. Truth stings a lot this week for these nasty envies. Keep up the great work. We’re going to need it in NYC after this damning watershed.

    • Great news and courage Nikolay Fedak, thank you!!! You really show who is for YIMBY and Who is for NIMBY, thank you. For NIMBY guys, please Read New Communist Manifesto by AOC!!!

      • Shocking how many supposedly pro development ppl are on a development blog triggered bc of criticisms of left-wing politics that are ALWAYS the cause of inhibiting growth (that is self evident and direct causal links, and why we need a YIMBY website in the first place). It’s almost as if they’re really NIMBYs, or at least don’t want to look in the mirror at the dark underside and consequence of their ideology. AOC beckons these snowflakes.

      • You spelled the author’s name wrong, you illiterate twit.

        • You idiot his name spelled on Russian, because he is from Russia like me, I was born in Soviet Ukraine and left it in 1989, Nikolay this how is should be spelled, but on English they spell little bit various, НИКОЛАЙ, Nikolai, Nicolas, Nicolas, Nikolay, Nikolay. Btw this is Greek name if you know little history of Christian Names!!!

  11. Many YES-IMBY Democrats read your publication and are shocked by this article. Just because we’re DEMS doesn’t mean we are “NO” to growth, building or Amazon. Stop generalizing –– this politically prejudiced and ignorant article LOST readership. Now I understand you are NOT PRO-CELEBRATION of GROWTH, instead you are an ANTI-DEMOCRAT online rag. IGNORANCE will not help OUR celebration of growth, architecture or construction. YOU are certainly NIMBY. You are not welcoming Democrats who celebrate growth!

    • Lol. This is a funny post. So which part of growth and success are you actually in favor of Andrea?? Also, what part of this article did you actually read, given your anger is way off base what it actually contained?? Curious YIMBYs want to know after a rant like yours.

      • Chris, the article in question was a rant. As a YIMBY and Democrat, this article has made me decide to ditch this site entirely. I don’t agree with pushing Amazon away, but according to this article I must agree with that. I’m a Democrat and I’m on the left, so I must be fantasizing about everything Cortez says? How does that line up? This article is trash. This site has abandoned its original purpose. I come here for information about new building projects in this city. I do not come here for political Op-Eds. I’ll be unsubscribing from the mailing list.

        • Who attacked all Democrats? I addressed a specific group of progressive NIMBYs, otherwise I would have attacked “the Democrats,” which I most definitely did not. Cuomo is not my favorite but he did a great deal to support Amazon. The problem is when a tiny minority of Democrats take the entire city hostage, which is now what has happened (to be clear, this is not ALL Democrats).

          • Exactly my initial point to Andrea; you were very clear who you were targeting, and she falsely projected it as an attack on all Dems. Guess these ppl really were triggered by it. Probably bc they’re closer along the line of agreement with those you targeted than they want to admit.

  12. the trickle down clowns are out today

  13. I am a commercial real estate broker and investor. Analyzing this purely on real economics and optimism, New York City will learn and grow from this. Want to know why? Do this exercise!! Wake up bright and early like say around 4 a.m. then pretend your leaving New York City for good, heading West or South towards Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, and of course Florida. As you’re headed across 78 West or I 95 what do you see? Every single consumer good you could think of headed to the BEAST!!!

  14. Well, let us see if there is a second act to this little drama, nothing is written in stone…in the meantime of course Amazon will continue to expand their Manhattan presence

  15. Oh no! How will New York City ever recover?

    While the backlash was certainly a short-sighted response to a plan that likely would have benefited New York City in the long run, this piece is nothing short of hyperbole. You mentioned that New York City is “the beating heart of capitalism”, yet somehow leap to the conclusion that after Amazon capitulated to the anger of a relative minority of people, that that minority “would rather choke off the blood-flow completely”. Under what form of logic can one deduce such a ridiculous belief?

    Amazon is to blame for this fiasco, not “a tiny minority of outraged Democrats”. The competition was nothing short of a publicity stunt, and primarily consisted of secret negotiations that would have benefited from further input from these supposed “outraged Democrats” before the decision was agreed upon between a small group of city, state and Amazon officials. I offer that the backlash would have been greatly lessened if the negotiations were done in good faith and with expanded input from those with the greatest concerns. If Amazon was as committed to the establishment of their second headquarters in Long Island City as you and their advocates touted them as being, then why did they bend the knee almost immediately after the backlash began? If it isn’t obvious to you, Amazon was never committed to this project, given that they threw their hands up in the air as soon as the criticisms surfaced. It’s quite clear that Amazon was unfit to promote and establish this project, as they strung along what amounted to a country wide solicitation campaign, failed to negotiate inclusively and communicate effectively with additional stakeholders, and conceded defeat following little no effort to placate the concerns of the people who were concerned about this project. Your narrow minded interpretation of this dog-and-pony-show debacle and assignment of responsibility squarely upon the elected officials who criticized this project and its process demonstrates how little you understand about how to conduct business. You flaunt your supposed adoration for capitalism and your business acumen, yet turn a blind eye to how Amazon effectively shot themselves in the foot with a project that was poorly executed from the start.

    And, to be perfectly honest, I am not upset that Amazon is not going to open their second headquarters in New York City, despite the fact that the benefits surely would have outweighed the initial corporate subsidies. If a city such as Newark, NJ, which Amazon is giving partial consideration to for their new headquarters and already has a large presence in, could “win” the competition for the company’s second headquarters, it would go a lot further for that city and our region overall than inserting it into Long Island City.

    Is it any surprise that someone who is upset about “outrage politics” posts a diatribe about how outraged they are?

  16. I am a YIMBY all for growth in this amazing city I’m proud to call home, this issue is not so one-sided as it is presented. While a handful of democrats and and members of the community came out in strong protest (which is their right) Amazon ran away with it’s tail between their legs. If Amazon truly knew this city and it’s amazing diverse mix of people, they would have sat down and listened to the opposition. Same is true for the right-wing YIMBY’s, you all could’ve gone out and supported Amazon on the streets and online. The bidding process is clearly flawed, no company should ask city’s to sign NDA’s or give billions of dollars in tax incentives to the most valuable company in the world. Amazon also should’ve had to go through the rezoning process just like ANY other company does. It is sad to see Amazon go, I think both sides could’ve come to an agreement had this been a more democratized process.

    • Thank you, Matt! As usual, Nikolai and many others have no capacity for nuance and assign responsibility for these fiascoes to people they disagree with, rather than understanding that this process broke down when Amazon failed to negotiate inclusively and communicate effectively with additional stakeholders, and conceded defeat following little no effort to placate the concerns of the people who were concerned about this project.

    • Finally, a well thought-out response to the issue.

  17. This smells like late capitalism. Will be taking a break from YIMBY if this is the direction it’s going.
    …But go off, Chris & Nikolai.

  18. When did it become 40,000? Why not 100,000, let’s reall overhype it.

    This failed because Amazon did not do their homework. Bezos thought he was Bruce Wayne coming to Gotham City, helipad and all. You don’t march into NYC and expect everyone to bow down and give you gifts. Google did it right. Amazon screwed it uo. Next please. Step down.

    Also I am joining the chorus of responders to this article in unsubscribing. I don’t read this for politics, I get enough of that elsewhere.

  19. Hush, hush my dears, we haven’t yet heard from the defining oracle of YIMBY: please excuse me for using your space…David, and his brain-numbing thoughts.

  20. Written like a true blogger who doesn’t actually understand how successful businesses prepare, negotiate, and follow through on a project.

  21. Yes, while nothing’s being done, New York is going down.
    How many years since 9/11, and World Trade Center still not completed.
    How many years since Sandy, and subway still not fixed.
    When will the full 2nd Avenue subway line be completed?
    What about the Access to the Region’s Core Project (ARC), the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Gateway Program, the Hudson Tunnel Project, the Portal Bridge Replacement Project, …?
    But who cares, we’re already “Number One”, aren’t we?

  22. I have said the same thing for years. The biggest threat to NYC, by far, are the small, but powerful crowd of NIMBYs. They basically blocked the biggest economic development project in the history of NYC, just to win favor with their base.

    Very sad news, probably second worst day in modern NYC history after 9-11.

    • “They basically blocked the biggest economic development project in the history of NYC, just to win favor with their base.”

      Huh, so I guess Hudson Yards (where Amazon currently has an office), the development of the World Trade Center site, the East Side Access project, etc. didn’t, or aren’t actually happening. Oh, wait. You’re just a damn idiot.

  23. I look forward to my YIMBY email each morning. I marvel at the amount of new construction in the greater NYC area. It’s truly astonishing and I have trouble keeping track of it all. As a self-described skyscraper nerd, I love it!

    However, I can do without the Fox News/conservative talk radio style rhetoric. Keep in mind it was Democrats that got Amazon to choose the NYC location in the first place. Those same Democrats did not want it to go down this way. Also, it was Democrats in the Virginia area that convinced Amazon to locate there. No, Democrats are NOT public enemy number one despite certain malcontents at the local level. No more so than Republicans.

    The greater San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley has 40,000+ Amazon employees to include its subsidiaries. The logistics centers in the Stockton area are a sight to behold. Amazon is all over the place here as is Google. Facebook, Apple et… al… A friend of mine who lives in Denver was hopeful that Amazon would choose her area for HQ2. I told her to be careful what she wishes for as something as massive as HQ2 dramatically effects housing prices and rents. In other words, be ready for the good with the bad. We experience this phenomenon year after year here in the bay with the announcement of the latest tech expansion or latest unicorn. We accept that trade-off. We do NOT give away billions in tax incentives though. Guess what? It does not affect the dynamics that is the SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley.

    I suspect there is more to this story. The first being talent. This is my opinion and speculation but could Amazon recruit the type of tech talent it needs to locate to Long Island City instead of the cool areas of Manhattan? Perception is everything. If two head-hunters called from Google and Amazon with one dangling a gig in Manhattan and the other the same gig in Long Island City I’d probably opt for the lifestyle in Manhattan but that’s me. I suspect the rest of the story will come out.

    Amazon HQ2 pulling out of NYC is a real kick in the pants. New York City will be fine. It’s that dynamic. Amazon will be back.

    My dos centavos.

    (From San Francisco Bay Area ​California​)

  24. Whoa! Isn’t this website for those who want growth, development, and jobs? I appreciate the information of new projects for the New York area. Many people who claim that they are progressives are not. They are Luddites. I 95 goes to Florida.

    • Exactly Michael. That is why we must start calling them what they really are: regressives. It is not growth & progress they want, but to hold everyone down if it means taking down their betters, and assuaging whatever neuroses and resentments they harbor.


  26. In the 1950s, Americans understood that General Motors, GE, and RCA made things to dazzle but also to self-destruct—”planned obsolescence.” My parents and neighbors also knew the advertising was bullshit, and all that these companies really cared about was money. And that was okay. (Hey, half the people in our neighborhood worked for those companies.) Tech companies are no different.

    Kara Swisher in the NY Times nailed it: “Amazon certainly could have been more creative in proposing some balms for those ills in New York. For example, could it have entered into a cool public-private partnership to fix the junky subways its employees would have ridden, perhaps in new and innovative ways? You know, making the world a better place? No, I guess not.

  27. A lot of triggered pearl-clutchers clogging the comment section! Face the facts people: “liberals” have been generally against the Amazon HQ2 expansion in Queens. We have all been talking about this for months and often those with left-leaning/Democrat politics have been in a bad mood about this. Why??? Amazon essentially created a competitive “game” that NYC politicians enrolled in and played along with. The AOC crowd was against this from day one. If the writer’s words are offending you, perhaps you live in a cultural echo chamber of complaining, outraged New Yorkers spending too much time on Facebook. THIS IS A BIG LOSS FOR NYC. NOT SURPRISED THOUGH, CONGRATS DEMS, YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED. GOOD LUCK IN 2020!

  28. I like YIMBY. As a native NYer who now lives in LA, I enjoy getting the email updates on what’s going on back home. As a practicing architect who often has to deal with the NIMBY crowd, I often see both sides of real estate development; the “for” and “against.”

    What I have not seen on YIMBY until this post is the kind of exaggeration, preaching, and outright condescending rhetoric I usually associate with the NIMBY crowd.

    First of all, I agree with you Nikolai….I think HQ2 would have been great for NY. Heck, I hoped they had picked LA. You are correct in lamenting the loss of the project. However, you could make that point with facts, data, and yes, even opinion without lines like this:

    “a rabid horde of regressive leftists” – really? Rabid Horde? Just say leftists.

    “the outrage politics that have proliferated since the advent of social media are now on the verge of consuming New York City’s future” – “consuming NYC’s future?” really?

    “New York City’s local elections are also a complete farce, with participation generally struggling to surpass 20% of registered voters” – That doesn’t make them a farce, it just means NYers don’t vote. Nothing more.

    “the Five Boroughs have effectively become the equivalent of Caracas or Pyongyang” – c’mon…even you don’t believe that right? You don’t right?

    Having said all that, remember, I agree with your overall point here…I just disagree with how you said it.

    You weaken your argument when you come off as an angry, ranting, and petulant child.

    We all know you’re not that.

    No worries…learn from the hiccup…pick up where you left off and keep doing the great job informing us like you always have.

  29. I say yes to most things in my backyard, just as I do to those who want to go to bed with me. But I do not say yes to everyone because I am not a slut or a whore. Only those people say yes to everyone.

  30. As Rodney King once said,” can’t we all just get along”! That said, progressive/regressive/ aggressive labels aren’t helping the dialogue. Why are we surprised here, we should, since the late 60’s when Jane Jacobs and diverse and merry coalition defeated the Lower Manhattan expressway, all develoment has been negotiated development, especially in NYC. It’s a given going in your balls are going to be busted big tiime. The mayor and Gov knew this, apparently Amazon didn’t. Well it was fun while it lasted. Amazon, come to Newark, they will love you up!

  31. Very well said. I share your frustration and dismay with the regressives who are hellbent on bringing this city down in their misguided goal of “fairness”, and hurting the very people they claim to care about. However, I disagree just one one point — the city may indeed be a one party state, but we do have competitive primaries, so it is not impossible to show those bums the door. Keep up your good work.

  32. Laughing at AOC – but thanks!

    MY city will be adopting some of those high paying NYC jobs.

    Sucks for her constituency – but, have no fear, I hear she has better plans for the $3B she wont be collecting anyway.


  33. No, NIMBYs are not New York City’s number one enemy, just as the media are not the enemy of the people.

    Growth and progress in the city are inevitable. But construction should proceed in a responsible way, not be way out in front of the infrastructure needed to support it, not be negotiated in back-room deals that shut out input from the community and shell out $3 billion in incentives on the backs of taxpayers, based on a loose “promise” to create 25,000 jobs, most of which are many years down the road.

    And how many of those $150,000 jobs do you think will go to the middle and working class residents of LIC?

    Amazon made an $11 billion profit in 2018 and paid zero taxes. You really think their tax lawyers won’t find a way to stiff the city and state, too?

    Checks on rampant overbuilding by developers is a good thing, whether you’re a NIMBY or a YIMBY.

    Where is your backyard, Nikolai? I’d like to build one of those super-tall middle fingers right next door and see how you like it.

    • I am in the Financial District and there are literally new skyscrapers under construction in almost every direction around my block.

  34. What did we ACTUALLY lose?
    We lost an undemocratic backroom deal that would have brought a union-busting behemoth here while providing the richest man in the world with corporate welfare and a helipad.
    Amazon acted like a big bully who refused to play ball with the community and then took the ball and walked away.
    Good riddance. LIC is , was, and will be booming with or without Amazon. Presumably Bezos is not accustomed to people and politicians standing up to him and rightfully telling him that if you come here you play by our rules. We don’t need or want a Bezos bully in the china shop. And NY economic incentives should be provided to companies that really need them.
    Instead of listening working with the community,and through democratic processes Amazon obviously prefers backroom deals that ignore the people and their local elected representatives, just as it prefers to squash its workplace unions.
    The arrogant actions of Amazon and their refusal to positively respond or even acknowledge valid community concerns and criticism have shown us that it would not have been a good neighbor in the first place – bad for worker’s rights, bad for democracy and democratic input, and definitely bad for the free market.
    Apparently Cuomo forgot the we had elected a new progressive legislature, and that the dynamics of power in this State have changed .
    No longer does Cuomo have the undisputed power to impose
    his secret backroom decisions on the State (“aka 3 men in a room”).
    In the Amazon deal he tried to bypass the public, and failed.
    Cuomo may have a worthy list of progressive accomplishments,

    • Just like with Trump’s Tweets,
      dot dot dot, a continuation of the above:
      but he also needs to lead in a progressive and democratic fashion.
      I hope he learned his lessons.
      For democracy may indeed be messy and difficult,
      but it’s far better than the lure of quick & easy undemocratic alternatives.

      • Essentially the Amazon deal is a question of ends versus means. And what isn’t?
        We need to look at how the deal was done, what it means, and what Amazon is & what it does as a company – NOT just the promised jobs, not just the almighty dollar, no matter the real social costs & consequences. It’s not ALL about the Benjamins. It needs to be more than that. It’s about values. It’s about community. It’s about corporate responsibility. It’s about democratic processes. Or the lack of them….
        Your precious wallet does not exist in an amoral vacuum my friend, and neither do you.
        For the road we choose to take is more decisive & crucial than the destination.
        Ends and means. Our means either dilute or poison or subvert the ends we seek,
        or they uplift & embody & enrich them, and make them real.
        The processes of open democracy may indeed be a messy and difficult road to travel.
        But it’s far better road than the lure of quick & easy undemocratic means, and their ultimately self-destructive “solutions”.

  35. NYC doesn’t lack for job growth at the moment. In fact, the NYC economy is doing better than it has in decades. Perhaps Amazon coming to NYC and bringing however many jobs would have been widely celebrated during the doldrums right after 9/11 or in the nineties, but the economic situation is simply different now. On the other hand, Amazon could make a huge difference if it located HQ2 in a region that is truly depressed economically — like somewhere in upstate NY. Or cities like Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, or even Newark.

    I suspect this nasty little diatribe in YIMBY is the result of this: Amazon coming to NYC likely inspired the writer to have fevered fantasies of massive real estate redevelopment and more densification. That after all is YIMBY’s holy grail – not livability or human scale. And those heady dreams of more and more sexy supertalls have just been scotched. Hence the hurt anger that NYC isn’t living up to YIMBY’s vision of what a world class city should look like.

    Where the diatribe really jumped the shark for me was the claim that NYC was becoming like Caracas or Pyongyang, where usually YIMBY seems to advocate turning NYC into Shanghai or Dubai. Maybe it’s time for YIMBY to just accept NYC for what it is and allow the city to grow and evolve organically at its own pace and according to the wishes of its collective citizenry.

  36. Whatever thoughts and opinions Yimby may have about the Amazon fiasco and how it went down, and however strong Yimby may feel them, it behooves a responsible and mature publication to label an editorial as such.

  37. As a commercial real estate professional I can tell you that HQ2 was a sweetheart deal for NYC/NYS. Most tax abatements for projects of this scale (see Hudson Yards) are for at least 20 years. Amazon gave back a huge chunk of equity by taking 10 years.
    Quite possible they had buyers regret, and faced with the agit-prop opposition decided the risk/reward wasn’t worth the aggravation.
    Investors at this level need to be treated like royalty, especially if they are paying too much. You can politely criticize them if you have a reasonable issue, but if a seller acts belligerently disrespectful you can bet the deal will crash and burn.
    The article’s most telling quote was from the public housing coalition, and how they were completely ignored by AOC and her cronies. Same with all the anti Amazon comments in this thread.
    The powerless low-income residents in the area will of course be the big losers in this self serving political power play, enabled by a one-party state and local machine in dire need of diversity.
    The loss of this deal is an unmitigated disaster for the future of NYC and NYS’s economic prospects. Amazon was offering a generous opportunity for long term economic prosperity, and was met with vitriolic hostility by extremist politicians and union hacks that were only interested in consolidating their influence by espousing an unsustainable ideological agenda.
    Of course Amazon backed out. And now most other world class companies will look at what happened and think very carefully before considering a substantial investment in NYC.
    When I moved to Brooklyn in 1973 the city was a bankrupt mess; rife with crime, corrupt police, and a deteriorating infrastructure. The overall quality of life was pretty lousy.
    Irresponsible and impetuous politicians like AOC can wreak havoc on the future prospects of our city as a place where middle class affluence can be achieved. We should all be aware that there is a constant risk of severe economic downturns that could be mitigated by tolerant politicians that understand the value of compromise and informed negotiation.

    “According to the state, Amazon will generate $27.5 billion in state and city revenue over 25 years, a 9:1 ratio of revenue to subsidies—an arrangement Cuomo called “the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program the state has ever offered.” This is predicated on the assumption that after the company begins hiring in 2019, Amazon will create 25,000 jobs over the next decade (with up to 40,000 when all is said and done), with an average salary of $150,000. The state estimates the project will facilitate 1,300 construction jobs and 107,000 in total direct and indirect jobs.”

    • Nailed it. This is a huge unforced, voluntary error by the corrupt and one-sided political culture of the city that will have negative ramifications for the city’s reputation and developmental prospects for a long time. All the angry regressives commenting on this thread demonstrate why it is so bad; they are missing the forest for the trees bc they’re so triggered for someone calling out their BS political ideology as the source of the fiasco, which it most clearly & obviously is. But apparently they want to continue in their intellectual safe space and make demands on free, private businesses who don’t owe anyone anything, and can locate anywhere, all the way until the last lights turn out, petulantly blaming the victim all the way down.

      • Sorry, Chris. The supposed one-sided political culture that you’re referencing also includes the democratic Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo, who negotiated in secrecy with Amazon to bring their second headquarters to Long Island City, all while excluding the concerned voices of those who created the backlash. The “huge, unforced, and voluntary error” was committed by Amazon, who, like any successful business, should have been better prepared, expected some backlash, and fought to incorporate those concerned voices during the negotiation process. While I agree that the backlash was a short-sighted response to a plan that likely would have benefited New York City in the long run, the fact that you’re assigning responsibility for this fiasco to a select group of politicians and not Amazon, who failed to negotiate inclusively and communicate effectively with additional stakeholders, then conceded defeat following little no effort to placate the concerns of some of our citizens, goes to show that you have no capacity for nuance or business acumen. Newsflash, Chris – it’s obvious that Amazon wasn’t committed to this project from the beginning, because as soon as there was an inkling of displeasure from some citizens, they capitulated and ran away like a dog with its tail between its legs. Also, businesses do answer to the public and the places in which they operate – just because they are private does not mean they should not be held responsible for making sure they are an upstanding organization in the neighborhood they occupy. How much of a dolt do you have to be to think that a company can do whatever it pleases and that the rest of us should bend over backwards for them?

        • Amazon does not ‘owe’ anyone anything, and does not need to negotiate if it wants to. I reject your starting premise that they or other businesses need to. It’s their money, and that is exactly the illiberal attitude and mentality that leads to NIMBYISM and retarded growth in the first place. But u keep it up that petulant sneering at businesses who choose not to do your bidding and let us all know how that works out for long term urban prosperity and progress. Lol.

          • Your responses indicate that you’re so low on the totem pole at whichever business employs you (it’s difficult to judge if you’re even employed) that you’re buried up to your neck in dirt, and, therefore, wouldn’t be able to understand what a successful business has to do to execute a proposal such as the one at hand.

            You’re right – Amazon doesn’t have to negotiate. Then again, if they were smart, they would, just like every other company occupying space in New York City. New York City does not need Amazon (if you had an ounce of intelligence, you’d know that they already occupy a large office space at 5 Manhattan West in Hudson Yards), and we should not bend over backwards for a company such as theirs, simply because they suggest that they will employ up to 25,000 people in their new headquarters ten years from now.

            It disgusts me that you would put a corporation such as Amazon on such a high pedestal and suggest that they should be allowed to do as they please at the expense of the people who would be affected by their decisions.

    • Don’t call this communist AOC as politician, politician is learned how to take a compromise, but AOC learned only how to protest like mob storming new Bastile finding 7 lunatics and drug addicts instead of “1000s oppressive victims of Old Regime”.
      People like AOC can only ruin not build one. Suggest to read Communist Manifesto famous slogan, protest, kill and destroy existing society to the scorched land!!! They are true Nazis!!!

      • Dennis – LOL. Yeah, I know nothing about business, and you are the one asserting “all other businesses must negotiate with the city”. Ok. You’re clearly the expert, bc that’s exactly what happens most of the time. Like I said before – let’s see how indignant & snarling attitudes like yours work to welcome more to come to NYC over the long run. So welcoming & friendly!

  38. Really terrible article. I won’t be coming to this site anymore. Take your bullshit to fox news.

  39. We’re only interested in problem-solving, we need a “national renaissance,” to fix the problems that affect us not left not right, but forward.

  40. As a yimby and a progressive I take serious offense to this.. I don’t visit this site for one sided political banter and insult.. Although we may have some differences on the way developments should happen I am a supporter of growth all across the city. This is such a disgraceful post..

    • The truth triggers.

    • I agree. And similar deceptive interpretations of this Amazon episode will be used by nefarious parties to demonize the local people and politicians who knew they were getting a bad deal, and all the progressives who supported them in the coming political season. The false job-killers accusation (as opposed to people negotiating for a better deal) is like the job-scapegoating directed at immigrants. Disgraceful.

      • Lol. Your post is everything that’s wrong with NYCs current political culture and what Nikolai was condemning in this article. Who are these local ppl & politicians u speak of to make demands in the first place. And what ‘deal’ were they getting that is supposedly ‘bad’ for them?? Amazon is a private business that was looking to build on private land. It is not ‘dealing’ with random disinterested parties, and no – wanting to stay in your apt or business at the same rent forever is not a ‘right’ one is entitled to demand protection from. So they have no standing to make such demands in the first place. And btw – most polls of actual local residents showed overwhelming support. Yep – this one is ENTIRELY on the radical regresssives of the Left who are taking over the NYC Dem party. Don’t try and pin the blame anywhere else, this one’s all on them.

        • Huh? Amazon was ” looking to build on private land.” That’s correct. But they were looking for big tax breaks to do it. That’s when it became public. If they want to pay their own way, abide by zoning rules, and be a neighbor who contributes to the community they’re in and the city we love, then the folks you call “radical regresssives of the Left ” would not have had support they had to demand accountability.

          • Nikolai Fedak | February 17, 2019 at 1:44 am |

            The small group of elected progressive NIMBYs did not have support, even DeBlasio was shocked by this, the LIC community was almost entirely supportive of the jobs & tax revenues this would have brought down the line.

        • You are great tired to explain these people why Communist Manifesto is wrong, I wonder why is hard for them, unless understanding why Russian people still love Stalin, after what he did for them!!!

  41. Well done Mr. Fedak! So refreshing to see a well written article like this. You called it like it is.

  42. Hits the nail on the head. A sad day for NYC when politicians cheer chasing away investment. Thank you!

  43. According to NYT, there was agreement among all the stakeholders, including Amazon, but as Bezos looked ahead to the transparency and community engagement requirements the future would contain and walked. No property owner or entrepreneur in NYC gets a free hand. That’s how we maintain a livable city and there are plenty of players who believe they benefit, or at least can live with, a degree of intrusion. Bezos couldn’t. That was his call. He had no right to expect it would be any different. Turns out he was never really a buyer – he was never willing to pay the true price. Nobody broke up the deal. There wasn’t one. Amazon walked.

  44. The whole Amazon HQ2 search has been the worst example of corporate cronyism I have ever seen. Corporations, sports franchises and Hollywood have pitted communities against one another for the promise of jobs and economic growth, the price being endless subsidies and tax breaks. San Diego said no to the Chargers’ ridiculous stadium demands and it is good to see nyc reject amazon’s demands.

  45. Progressives are like Fundamentalist Christians, always proselytizing their blind faith in the transformative power of a higher power, in this case of “government.” And they always do it with that smug air of superiority. Their Apocalypse is global warming. Their sacraments are abortion and sodomy. And their original sin is being White or European or Male or a combination of all three. However, at least with Fundamentalists, there’s redemption, but with these neo-Puritanical nutcases, there is no forgiveness. And all they’re able to create is hell on earth.

    • Mr. Asparagus, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  46. What would likely have never broken 15,000 or even 10,000 employees suddenly becomes 40,000 employees! Wish that worked in real life!

    • Actually genius the 40K was the max potential direct and indirect jobs estimated to be eventually created over 15 years. It was not made up. But u go ahead and sneer at good jobs & opportunity your nasty attitude helped tank for thousands of NYers, just so u could balm your guilty conscience by ‘getting’ the big rich bad man.

      • You don’t know me pal. I wanted Amazon to happen, but I always had my doubts it would live up to the promise that was being made. Also, you don’t know me. Did I already say that? Thanks apparent genius.

  47. Great article. Such a missed opportunity for NYC, all because a few people wanted to put on a show. Amazon would have done a lot for the city, cement its economy as a tech hub. And I’m willing to bet all the people fighting amazon use it’s service every week.

  48. Jared Bloomfield | February 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Reply

    AOC just signed her death warrant. She will be found dead in a dumpster and everyone will think it was the mob and blame them, BUT, the unbelievably stupid nitwit just gave the goons in the Democrat party the perfect cover to kill her. The progressives will be livid, the Dems will feign outrage, but it gives them the opportunity to get rid of the biggest liability they have to victory in 2020.

  49. You kind of went off the deep end with this one. It seems unusual as the articles on this site typically are or better quality and more fact-based.

    I think the reality is more nuanced than this.

    Besides, it is a long walk from the station to the LIC waterfront. It would be smarter to concentrate high density commercial development closer to the stations at the core of LIC.

    Plus, there were probably a number of other factors that led to the cancellation of HQ2 that nobody outside Amazon leadership will ever hear about; we will only read about the scapegoats.

  50. You can be pissy all you want but in the end it was Amazons decision to pull out

    The taxes and money people will make you talk about is a joke and you are lying to yourself and the readers. Amazon’s thousands of main support jobs would have been managed by contractors services which don’t have to adhere to any sort of standards for pay. The avg 100k would be boiled down to everyone making 40k while 1 dude makes 40mil and probably wouldnt be paying NYC taxes from whatever loopholes are available to them

    • Nice. Go take your “let them eat cake” attitude to the folks in LIC who desperately wanted this move, and let us know how that comes across?? Your ‘compassion’ just oozes out of your comments, you really are ‘for the common man’ now!

  51. I love most YIMBY articles, but this one is utterly ridiculous and way off the mark. Any company that êxpects to develop in a huge place like NYC and meet no resistance is either completely incompetent, or was never very serious to begin with.

  52. I’d bet money that this Nikolai Fedak is one of those real estate speculators who were jizzing their pants over this announcement, & is now upset that his ‘investment’ fell through. Their wails and cries of despair are like the sweetest candy to ever be created.

    Growth at any cost, and f*** the people ground under, right? F*** the people who would have been priced out of their homes by landlords jacking up rent in the area. F*** the small businesses that would have been destroyed to make way for the Amazon campus. F*** the working & middle class people who would have seen their taxes raised to pay for a notorious tax dodge like Amazon. F*** the community that would have been destroyed by the gentrification of Long Island City. F*** people who believe in democracy, who oppose backroom deals made without public import. F*** people who were worried about worsening of the crumbling infrastructure in LIC. F*** the working class man & women struggling to make ends meet, who were upset 500 million dollars in taxpayer money that could have been used to improve their communities was instead being given to the worlds richest man.

    F*** everyone else, and especially the working class. As long as people like Nikolai make money, that’s all that matters, right?

    F*** you, you subhuman piece of s***.

    Do the world a favor. Stick a loaded gun in your mouth & pull the trigger. No body would miss you. I’d say that the human race would be better off without you as part of it, but you aren’t human to begin with. Kill yourself, you selfish piece of sentient garbage.

    • This is slightly rude and also I am most definitely not a real estate speculator

      • NK, you should feel free to remove the offensive, obscene, and deranged comments in this thread. They have of no intellectual value, and represent the bankrupt ideology of fascism.

        • B’s and Jared’s comments above (on opposite sides of the issue) are the scariest I’ve ever seen on YIMBY. This death stuff crosses the line.

          • I’ll admit, the kill yourself comment was over the line, but I am f***ing pissed off. I’m pissed off at always living one missed paycheck away from being homeless. I’m pissed off that every time I start to see some light on the horizon, begin to get my head above water, the universe decides to take another giant s*** on me, throwing me another crisis that I cannot afford, that pushes me further into the hole.

            To see people defending this system, defending giving billions of dollars to a worthless parasite like Jeff Bezos while there are millions of Americans in my exact situation pissed me the f*** off. I’m sick of corporations & parasitic billionaires getting tax breaks, and people like me getting stuck with the bill.

            The concerns of people like myself are being completely dismissed by articles like this, & to see politicians who actually seem give a **** about people like me, who are concerned about rising rent, increasing homelessness & growing income inequality getting s*** upon for not giving blowjobs to people like Jeff Bezos set me off.

            I, and people like me, have been used as a punching bag by the universe for decades, & I am sick of it.

            Still, I apologize for what I said.

          • B. you’re good to apologize, and yes you have every right to speak up about the issue.

      • You are defending a horrible deal given to a trillion dollar company, & you seem awfully invested in it. Forgive me if I am skeptical of your claims that you have no horse in this race.

        You hear the word ‘jobs’, and your brain seizes up. It’s a Pavlovian response, and it stops you from thinking critically about the issue, & considering if their could be a downside.

        Never mind the people who could have been driven out of their homes by rising rent prices, or the issue of how Amazon treats their workers, or their history of tax dodging. Also lets put aside the fact that EVERY OTHER subsidy thus given has failed to return it’s promised goals. Put all those quite valid criticism aside, & focusing on these issue: It would set a bad precedent, and the return on the jobs.

        If this deal had happened, EVERY COMPANY in New York would be running to the mayor & governor for the same handout. If I was a CEO & had no soul (but I repeat myself), I would have demanded that I get the same deal or I’m leaving, and taking my employees with me. From then until the heat death of the universe, New York City would be giving perpetual tax breaks & subsidies to every company who wanted to do business in the city.

        As to the jobs, no studies were conducted to determine the viability of the claims of 25000-40000 jobs being created, which is something the Land Use Process would normally determine, had the deal not bypassed that. Nor was any determination made as to the math used to determine the salary average of being $150,000. What was to stop Amazon from pegging the ‘average’ salary to Jeff Bezos’ salary, thereby paying the majority of their workers far less.

        Even assuming that they kept their promises and created the jobs they claimed, and that those jobs DID pay what they claimed, considering that the jobs were to be created over the period of decade it would take between 15-20 years after that period for those jobs to produce enough taxes to offset the 3 billion given to Amazon. And even assuming that Amazon did not pull any of their tax avoidance tricks, as they’ve done in other cities, it would take decades before NYC would see any benefit from Amazons taxes. In the meantime, the working class & middle class of NYC would be the ones stuck with the bill, in order for the city to make up the tax shortfall produced by this deal.

        Cuomo saw himself sitting in the Oval Office. He believed the Amazon deal would be his springboard into the Presidency, & in his ambitions, he never stopped to consider the larger implications of the deal, what kind of negative effects it could have & whether the positives to the deal outweighed it’s many, many negatives. Just as happened with you when you heard the word ‘jobs’.

  53. Great article! Progressives and the radical-left Democratic Party of 2019 are today’s greatest threat to not just New York but all of America and the prosperity we enjoy today!

  54. AOC and her fringe progressive friends will ultimately destroy our city.

    What an absolute disgrace. I’ve never seen anything like it here in NYC and that goes back 60 years.

  55. This has to be the ABSOLUTE worst, most ridiculous column ever written on this site.
    The writer should just go to Fox News.

  56. I come here for information about architecture and development not for a disgusting right wing, Trump stained diatribe. What a pile of stinking manure this article is. Stop with the politics. It’s not your forte. And your just not good at it.

  57. Jack Liberman. You are an asshole

  58. Amazingly, other than one reader’s comment about what happened in Philadelphia when it attempted to head down the path towards Utopia, few of the Amazon haters seem to have any understanding about what happens to cities – and especially NYC – when corporations deem them as being ridiculously hostile to the business community.

    Sure, we can debate whether the “beauty contests” many states and local governments fall on top of each other seeking to lure corporations to build HQ offices, back offices or factories are virtuous or are nothing more than a sham that allows companies to be unfairly subsidized by taxpayers, or even shamelessly abusive simply because they know they can get away with doing that.

    But, that’s an altogether different discussion as long as that option exists, where if even just one state and city that considers this a useful economic development tool can undercut, and effectively steal jobs and economic development from those that don’t.

    But, as regards this debacle, and for sure that’s what it is, with plenty of blame to go around, the fact remains that if NYC slides back to becoming hostile to businesses who WANT to create 25k direct jobs and tens of thousands more as a ripple effect, then those who seem to think killing Amazon’s HQ2 Plan obviously have ZERO KNOWLEDGE of how dangerously close to bankruptcy NYC was in the late 1970s, and that it took more than 25 years until NYC regained its place as a city that companies viewed as being a desirable place to locate anything more than a satellite office at so they would be close to Wall Street or the advertising and media companies that are based here.

    We reap what we sow.

    And in this instance, the repercussions go way beyond Amazon as a great many other companies will likely look at that company’s outcome and say “do we really need to risk this insanity when Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas and many other cities are all but handing them keys to their cities if they set up shop there?”

    I’m old enough to remember how so many people were writing NYC off and predicting its demise because cities throughout what was then called the “Sunbelt” were luring one Fortune 500 company after another from NYC to sunnier climates with economic development incentives, cheaper land, cheaper labor costs, less onerous regulations, lower taxes, and an overall perception of being “Open for Business” – and the outcome was NYC becoming all but bankrupt itself as its tax base disintegrated and jobs dried up as they migrated AWAY from NYC.

    Nobody “won” with this deal falling apart.

    And sorry Amazon haters, if you can’t see how selfish and destructive your actions are, then you really need to bone up on NYC’s slide towards total insolvency in the 1970s, and the pain and sacrifices borne by all be they ordinary taxpayers, civil servants and more for more than two decades before NYC began its ascendancy to becoming the city as we know it to be now (however imperfect it may yet well be).


    • Nailed it.

      • Thanks, Chris – the vote of confidence is much appreciated!

        I’m not saying the Amazon HQ2 deal as originally hatched, or proposed, was perfect, or that it didn’t warrant constructive amending to better address the immediate neighborhood’s needs and even some of the larger citywide needs/issues.

        It probably did.

        But the outcome as presently stands is a terrible thing, and if those whom consider this a “Win” continues down this path, then for sure NYC’s rapid slide back to the 1970s is at hand.

        And that would not just be be a terrible, terrible shame in concept, it would basically wipe out all of the hard work and sacrifices made by civic and business leaders (like Felix Royhyatan – remember him?), Senator Patrick Moynihan and many others, along with police, firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers AND all of us who stuck it out through those painful decades to help rebuild the city into what it has become even after the 9/11 terrror attacks sought to erase all the work that had been done to rebuild NYC from what was technical bankruptcy but for the fiscal oversight that did an end run after President Ford’s rejection of a fiscal package that the NY Daily News famously describes on its memorable cover as “Ford to NYC: Drop Dead”.

        “Progressive policies” based on soaking the rich are great – until the rich flee to more favorable cities and states and there’s not enough rich people left to pay for those noble, but very expensive, social programs.

        To do that, they’d need to achieve something that every election in my lifetime makes clear is so NOT likely to happen anytime soon in our country.

        And NYC cannot possibly expect to exist in a Progressive bubble of high taxes and an overall anti business climate without boarding the express train to bankruptcy again.

        That’s a reality we’d be wise to understand and accept ASAP!

  59. While we may disagree about Amazon’s plans and actions related to this entire saga, I hope we can all agree to convince Nikolai Fedak to stop embarrassing himself with these kinds of hyperbolic temper-tantrums.

    • No, we don’t all agree. What we can all agree on is that if ppl actually care about encouraging urban progress & development, they need to pay attention to the ppl & ideas & politics that underlie the NIMBYism that thwarts it. And consider the consequences of some of the ideas & pols they may support.

      Keep up the good work Nikolai!

  60. In the above, please note the following clarification for text that was unintentionally omitted for an editing error that was not seen until after posting:

    “…those who seem to think killing Amazon’s HQ2 Plan for Long Island City is a ‘good thing’ obviously have ZERO KNOWLEDGE of how dangerously close to bankruptcy (think: Detroit of the recent past and its ongoing struggle in the present) NYC was in the late 1970s…”

    [And I might add: lest those completely ignorant of what WILL happen to NYC if we rush headlong into enacting radical left “Progressive economic policies” in the belief that NYC is so unique that it can withstand tax policies that call for soaking the rich while also attacking the businesses that create jobs and wealth, they’re sadly deluded even more so now than ever before given the speed with which information and goods move now, and for sure NYC can and will end up in the same place as it was for most of the last quarter of the 20th century – or basically what Detroit of recent years has had to deal with having lacked a prosperous business community and good paying jobs.

    So, if NYC of the late 1970s, 80s and even much of the 1990s is what people view as a city they’d actually WANT to live and work in, then by all means this epic fail that was driven by a small, but very vocal group that’s every bit as rigid in its “know it all” doctrinaire thinking AND every bit as selfish and destructive in the all but guaranteed outcome as their equally deluded, selfish and narrow-minded counterparts in Trumpville, is for you – even if the NYC of the late 20th century or the Detroit of more recent times is all but guaranteed to be the outcome absent a complete and total economic and political revolution on the national level which is 99.999% improbable anytime soon.

    So, absent that sort of fringe left wing pipe dream ever happening (and sorry folks, a country that elects [or accepts when the Supreme Court appoints/foreign enemies bent on our country’s destruction subvert elections to influence the outcome of elections or even “choose”] as many Republican politicians at all levels of government as a great many people do, then NYC needs to exist pragmatically within the world as it is and NOT as some idealists, however passionate, well intentioned and sincere they destructive may very well be.

    And that must include playing the economic development and job creation game every bit as much as cities elsewhere routinely do.

    Unless, of course, you’re among those who believes the NYC of the late 1970s is the city of the future we want to become again.

    And for “haters”:

    I lost my rent stabilized apartment in a now very desirable (and ridiculously expensive) part of the city to an exceptionally sleazy and dishonest landlord who used every sleazy and dishonest trick imaginable to get rid of tenants in his buildings.

    It was a painful and bitter experience, too.

    So, I not just understand in theory, but have actually experienced the ugly side of gentrification and being forced from a home and community I loved.

    But, somewhere between taking out all of our frustration and anger about gentrification, displacement from ones’ homes, the ridiculously high cost of housing and a great many very real problems of income inequality in our city and throughout our country on a company willing to venture into an unproven and underdeveloped neighborhood while promising to bring 25k jobs and some perhaps genuine deficiencies in the deal as proposed lies a solution, and more importantly, a missed opportunity (such as a negotiated Community Benefits Agreement, or CBA) that might have allowed for something that improves the lives of those who would’ve been most impacted in the area where Amazaon wanted to establish its HQ2.

    Additionally, those who might point to Google, Microsoft or others who have expanded greatly in NYC over the past decade and how they didn’t seek the same deals at taxpayers’ expense, they’d be well advised to remember that these companies by and large leased, or in Google’s case, bought, office space in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in Manhattan where had they, or if Amazon for its now abandoned NYC HQ2 chosen as well instead of LIC, had sought the same type of economic development packages there likely would’ve been widespread, and correctly so, outrage over the deal Amazon got for LIC.

    But citing examples of coporations whom set up shop in the most desirable parts of Manhattan that did NOT rely on economic development packages to attack Amazon is deeply flawed – practically to the point of insanity.

    Anyhow, I might add that although nearly all of my published work focuses on the airline industry for an industry newsletter most people outside of industry are unfamiliar with, in actuality my undergraduate and graduate education was all about urbanization, including a detailed analysis of one of the earliest economic developments underdone to stabilize, and help rebuild Times Square: The Marriott Marquis Hotel, where a long ago abandoned economic policy under Ronald Reagan called Urbad Development Action Grants, or UDAG, was used to lure development of that still very successful and prominent hotel to Times Square and Theater District at a time when that area was virtually untouchable.

    And it worked, right?

    Oh, and now decades later, and by using a great many other taxpayer subsidized economic development tools, the benefits of tens, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of jobs arising from that UDAG used to lure a company as big and “wealthy” as Marriott Hotels along with several other office towers in what in the 1970s and 1980s was virtually impossible to gain financial backing but for those subsidies.

    So, for those who hate businesses “just because” – when done effectively, publicly financed economic development packages have served NYC quite well since the Marriott Marquis alone has no doubt provided countless thousands of jobs since opening up three decades ago (or thereabouts), and probably hundreds of millions in tourist dollars pumped into the city’s economy.

    So, please, spare me the lecture on how that $3 billion economic development package could’ve just as easily been allocated for other public spending when there’s a huge difference between what economic development provides in the decades to come in terms of job growth and broadening the tax base versus just spending taxpayers’ money on expensive “Progressive ‘Wish Lists’” that require enacting tax policies that history already proved in NYC will have both the wealthiest among us, and the corporations that provide needed jobs fleeing NYC faster than they did in the 1970s, 80s and until the most egregious and onerous taxes were repealed.

    That’s just a fact – however inconvenient it may be when contemplating a “Progressive Utopia” filled with 70% tax brackets funding every social ill.

  61. That’s Urban Development Action Grant in the above!

  62. If there are valid business reasons for Amazon to locate some set of corporate functions in NYC, then it will do so whether it is “bribed” to do so or not.

  63. Sir,
    I believe Amazon HQ2 was more a pacemaker with suspect motives had the $3 billion up front been the only thing Amazon was looking for from the city, O doubt they would have balked at 3 angry, vocal politicians.

    However, your point on security deposits is a very good one. Can you write an article just about that?

  64. Bed Stuy Native | February 18, 2019 at 8:54 am | Reply

    It’s funny that people keep blaming progressive politicians for Amazons decision to leave. All they did was speak up for their community isn’t that why we vote for them in the first place. Bezo’s is so use to getting what he wants, that when a group of people started voicing their opinion he folds. All the people wanted was more of an investment form Amazon into their community. Don’t blame NIMBISM for the action of a few greedy people. All that was said was how is this going to benefit the community. Did they think they could build a mega project like that and isolate themselves from us. The fact people are blaming AOC and other politicians is absurd they didn’t even get to a have any community broad meeting before Amazon folded. And sure 25,000 jobs sounds amazing but at what cost. Being a New Yorker my whole I doubt most of those jobs would have went to us, most likely the low paying ones or union job which I doubt Amazon would had been found of. And to say 25,000 averaging 100k is completely absurd and again for who, not us. And believe like most people gentrification is toxic, it completely destroys neighborhoods and gets rid of that sense of community we always had. It does more damage to the city than crack did. “Maybe over the top”.


  66. Michael J Giordanella | February 18, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Reply


  67. What on Earth did I just read???

  68. 40,000 jobs paying $100,000 a piece? I stopped reading this garbage after those two numbers were cited(that and the use of the word rabid to describes those opposed to the deal). All the other reporting I’ve read on this deal says 25000 jobs AVERAGING $100,000 a piece. Simple math tells you there are few very high paying jobs that are going to reduce the average salary of the majority of those jobs to something more in line with a regular amazon employees wages – something significantly less than $100,000/yr.

    • The other reporting is wrong. Amazon committed to 25K jobs by 2028 and projected 15K additional through 2033, all at an average of $100K apiece.

  69. Quick note:

    The Dutch first settled in the harbor in 1624 and moved to Manhattan in 1625 which is the year on the city seal.

    New York City is not quite 400 years old.

  70. Yes, yes. YIMBY’s need to push back against the regressive NIMBY’s. Y’all need to quit your complaining about an honest piece on a YIMBY website.

  71. Unbelievable, guy who makes 9 million dollars per hour is asking New Yorkers to EACh pay about $450 EXTRA in taxes if they want him to put his headquarters in NYC. A word city where every company would want an office and a city in a country with near full employment. Why don’t you ask each New Yorker if they are ok with paying $450 out of their pocket so Bezos can have his headquarters here? Or how about this: Russian Oligarch gets 3 billion from Moscow mayor in return for building his headquarters in Moscow. Somehow if this would happen in Russia, everybody would be crying corruption but when it’s in the US, it’s ok… What Bezos is asking for and. what he already receive elsewhere would make any Russian Oligarch blush…

  72. We are not vagrants, we are unfortunate because we can’t afford the damn rent in Weschester and we are targeted by various groups, and members from our own community.

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