Reject AOC's Amazon I-told-you-so: Why the Long Island City project was still a deal we should never have refused
Added 12-10-19 05:13:02am EST - “Last Friday, minutes after Amazon announced plans to open a 335,000 square foot office in Hudson Yards, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and State Sen. Michael Gianaris took a victory lap, claiming their role in squelching the Amazon…” - Nydailynews.com
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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Reject AOC’s Amazon I-told-you-so: Why the Long Island City project was still a deal we should never have refused”. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Last Friday, minutes after Amazon announced plans to open a 335,000 square foot office in Hudson Yards, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and state Sen. Mike Gianaris took a victory lap, claiming their role in squelching the Amazon headquarters deal in Long Island City had saved the city “billions.”
Nonsense. While the addition of 1,500 tech sector jobs in the Hudson Yards area is welcome, it is by no means comparable to what would have been an unprecedented private sector investment in the borough of Queens, one that residents overwhelmingly favored.
The explosion of the innovation economy has forced many cities and metro regions across the country into affordability crises. The resulting fear and uncertainty around what an evolving urban economy means for communities is both real and justified. But change requires action. Municipalities must have growth strategies to attract and retain quality jobs and build housing accessible to all residents.
A key tenet of New York City’s growth strategy is to support the development of new mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods across the five boroughs and to link that development to opportunities for existing residents, institutions and businesses. Support comes in many forms: subsidy for affordable housing and workforce development; capital investment in parks, libraries and streets; zoning and land use actions; and, yes, in some cases, tax incentives to lure new jobs.
The HQ2 deal in Long Island City would have brought substantial public benefits to a rapidly transforming neighborhood sorely in need of investment, delivering $9 in private sector money for every $1 in tax dollars spent or foregone. Yet the uncompromising anti-development fervor of many elected officials and advocates — who painted the deal as an emblem of corporate greed — removed the prospect of thousands of high-quality jobs; new infrastructure funding; a new 600-seat school; and improved public amenities, including a beautiful waterfront park for all New Yorkers.
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