New York wants Amazon’s new headquarters, says city beats ‘burbs

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 17 Sep 2017

A view of the One World Trade Centre tower and the lower Manhattan skyline of New York City at sunrise as seen from Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S., August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

New York City is officially throwing its hat in the ring to lure Inc’s proposed second headquarters, hoping its large, diverse workforce, extensive university system, big-city living and status as an epicentre of industry will overcome its major drawback as one of the country’s most expensive housing markets. 

The city is highlighting the example of Alphabet Inc’s Google, which has 5,000 employees in Manhattan, as a prime example of how West Coast tech can thrive in the Big Apple. 

Another major selling point is that New York offers access to various industries Amazon is entering, including advertising, media, fashion, food and finance, Alicia Glen, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, said in an interview. 

”For a company like Amazon that wants to be in all of these different sectors, they have to be thinking this is a great place to put roots down for the next half century,” she said. 

The city is seeking proposals from land owners, developers, business groups and others to find the best locations to rally behind to make a unified pitch; it could propose multiple locations in different boroughs. The city doesn’t plan to offer big financial incentives, saying New York is an attractive location without them, Glen said. 

”Kids want to work in NYC,” she said. “They don’t want to be in a suburban office park.” 

Seattle-based Amazon last week solicited proposals for the headquarters, a project that will cost more than US$5bil (RM20.96bil), and create 50,000 jobs over the next 15 to 17 years. Politicians across the US and Canada have eagerly expressed interest. 

New York has competition from big cities such as Boston and Chicago and smaller markets like Tulsa, Oklahoma and Memphis, Tennessee. Amazon set an Oct 19 deadline for proposals, and plans to make a decision next year. 

The company has said its criteria include a metropolitan area of at least 1 million people with an airport offering convenient flights to Seattle and Washington. — Bloomberg

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