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Fri Mar 15, 2019, 10:03 AM

State Senate Majority Leader Does an About-Face on Amazon

Source: NY1

What a difference a month makes. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who was one of the people Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed for Amazon backtracking its HQ2 deal last month, is now asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to come back.

"Please reconsider what you've decided. New York is absolutely the best place for Amazon to grow," Stewart-Cousins said in an interview on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

Her position stands in sharp contrast to her deputy, Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens, who was one of the most vocal critics of the deal to bring Amazon to Long island City. The Senate majority leader recommended Gianaris to an obscure Albany control board that could have blocked the deal.

Amazon decided to pull the plug shortly after that announcement. But Cuomo immediately began asking Amazon to reconsider. And earlier this month, he also asked for cooperation from the state Senate.

Read more: https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2019/03/15/state-senate-majority-leader-does-an-about-face-on-amazon-?cid=share_twitter

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 10:21 AM

1. Why would they? There are plenty of other places that would gladly welcome them

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 10:23 AM

3. There are not many places that can handle them

No transportation, infrastructure, etc. and no willingness to spend the money to build it. NY is ready

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 10:22 AM

2. Michael Gianaris initially wanted Amazon to come to queens.

Last edited Fri Mar 15, 2019, 12:56 PM - Edit history (1)

His opposition after the 2018 was political gamesmanship.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 11:41 AM

4. Amazon Called the Politicians' Bluff

I bet most of the politicians fighting against Amazon was playing political gamesmanship. They went on record opposing Amazon and whatever deal the city was giving it but never thought that Amazon would actually change its mind about the NYC location. Be careful what you ask for.

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Response to Indykatie (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 12:49 PM

5. Be careful what you get.

I live in Seattle and the damage Amazon has done here is incalculable. The city is becoming unlivable, unless you're a young techie. High rents are only the tip of the iceberg. Transit is stretched, services are stretched, the existing population is basically considered throwaway by all the municipal agencies (at least it seems like it), empty storefronts abound, and people and businesses are being displaced. Homelessness is a crisis and the only "solution" is to have even more development and include market rate housing, which the people who have been evicted will never be able to afford, and also seems to be theoretical at worst and in the future at best. Oh, and everyone's solution is density (note: I already have been downsized to a one-bedroom apartment for two people, so don't preach to me about density, I live it, and I don't like it).

Why doesn't Amazon go someplace, pay the applicable taxes, contribute to infrastructure somewhere that needs it, and pay people a living wage for that particular town, instead of driving up rents in already crowded places so they can get tax breaks they don't need?



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Response to LisaM (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:18 PM

8. Where I live our city council made demands and received concessions before approving SuperWalmart

We didn't just let Walmart come in on their terms. Instead our local politicians listened to citizens in nearby affected neighborhoods and considered all the long term ramifications and turned down Walmart until Walmart made some major concessions to protect integrity of our neighborhoods and enhance road and park system. Now, over 10 years later everyone is happy with the outcome. Amazon did not try enough to make concessions and work with local politicians and citizens who had concerns before abruptly ending the deal. Sends message that they weren't willing to make good faith deal but wanted it all on their own terms.

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Response to Indykatie (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:05 PM

6. Tech is also bracing for a bear market

The last 10 years has been an incredible expansion. Amazon used the whole HQ2 thing as free publicity and to get their name out there even more than it already was. Kind of like how the news always reports every little Apple product release. Its free marketing. However there is no way Amazon is going to meet the hiring goals of both the NYC and DC projects.

The DC location was a given because of proximity to politics. At some point regulators are going to look at their monopolies and business practices. They are also ramping up federal contracting and Northern Virginia is a whos who of contractors. I still doubt they hit their hiring goals even for the DC location.

My bet is Amazon was using the pushback from locals as a way to quietly scrap or put the project on hold until needed.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:12 PM

7. Something tells me the wealthy real estate developers who swarmed like vultures

when Amazon chose Long Island City are exerting a little pressure on the Senate Majority Leader. This was going to be a cash cow for them and they don't like it when their easy money and monopolies are messed with.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 04:08 PM

9. wonder how much $$ is flowing to buy into the amazon corporate welfare scam? nt

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