Amazon is mounting a public relations campaign touting the positives on its controversial decision to locate its second corporate headquarters in Long Island City, N.Y., ramping up its New York charm offensive.
In an open letter on Saturday, Amazon detailed promised benefits to the community. Activists have voiced concerns that the online retailer would bring over-crowding on existing infrastructure and few benefits to lower-income residents.
“Happy New Year from your future neighbors at Amazon,” Amazon said in the letter, published in several news outlets.
Amazon will bring an estimated 25,000 new employees to the area. In the letter, it promised tens of thousands of diverse jobs, $27 billion in tax revenues and real estate donated to establish a new public school in Long Island City.
“We wanted to make sure you knew some of the details of the investment we are planning in Long Island City and for its residents,” Amazon said.
Amazon earlier announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the location for its new east coast headquarters. The Seattle technology giant said it would invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington.
Amazon stands to receive more than $2 billion in tax incentives across the locations. Up to $1.2 billion will come from New York State’s Excelsior program, which is a discretionary tax credit. In Virginia, the company could receive as much as $500 million in cash incentives.
The announcement concluded a 14-month long national frenzy, in which communities went out of their way to capture Amazon’s attention. New York City changed the lights on the Empire State Building to Amazon’s signature orange color. Tucson hauled a 21-foot cactus to the company’s Seattle campus. The Mayor of Kansas City, Sly James, wrote 1,000 reviews for Amazon products — giving them all five stars.
In New York, Amazon selected Long Island City, just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side — a location it touted for its blend of cultural institutions, arts organizations, new and converted housing, restaurants, bars, breweries, waterfront parks, hotels, academic institutions, and small and large tech sector and industrial businesses.
In Virginia, Amazon selected National Landing, an urban community in Northern Virginia located less than three miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The retail giant lauded its proximity to metro stations and Reagan National Airport, as well as the assortment of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices.