Amazon announces HQ2 in a split decision (The 3:59, Ep. 489)
The Daily Charge
Welcome to the 3:59, I'm Alfred Ng,
I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
If you haven't heard, Amazon announced today that they are bringing HQ2 to Long Island City in Queens New York, and Crystal City in Arlington Virginia.
Our Amazon reporter Ben Fox Rubin, has all the details on it.
This is so shocking, I can't believe it-
I think Okay.
First of all, the news had already been leaked a lot last week from multiple sources.
The other issue that I'm sure a lot of people will want to quibble about is they're calling it three different North America headquarters.
WHat's with that?
Like what is a headquarters anymore?
The third one would be Nashville, Tenessee.
Like obviously Seattleis the first one.
There's also Nashville Tenessee is gonna get 5,000 people The other two, the ones that were announced today are gonna get 25,000 each, but Seattle is still the biggest with 45,000.
Did Amazon state what was so appealing about Long Island City or Crystal City in their statement?
I'm sure they did, I was just glancing through their statements where said a bunch of
Positive stuff about this these locations.
It's pretty obvious like why they wanted to go both of these places.
These are two major centers of power in the east coast.
The DC area obviously Amazon has been trying to push a lot more into getting more government contracts, more defense contracts.
In New York there's obviously a lot going on with media and entertainment in New York.
And Amazon being in Seattle as their primary headquarters as opposed to being in the valley means that they are a flight away from that center of power.
So Plunking down 25000 high paying employees in those two major areas is it's going to be pretty significant for the company.
Where there aren't any financial incentives into this?
Yeah, very much.
I know that Andrew cuomo governor Cuomo at one point.
And said that he would change his name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes.
Okay, first of all, don't expect politicians to act any differently than they normally would.
Because if you're expecting them to not Shill themselves for 25,000 jobs or 50,000 jobs, which was the initial offer.
Then you're being ridiculous.
I'm sure Nashville is even very, very excited about 5,000 jobs.
But the problem is and the joke of it is that this was supposed to be a co-equal to Seattle.
And instead it's being separated by multiple states.
So calling it two different headquarters 25,000 each, it's different than what was initially promised and so a lot of people, and it's also exactly where a lot of people would have expected them to locate anyway, so.>> So what were the finanical incentives?
I know I interupted you a little bit,but.
Yeah, so New York is offering 1.5 billion dollars in incentives, Virginia's offering 575 million dollars in incentives Nashville got away easy with only 100 million in incentives.
And that's for creating high-paying jobs that reach-
Yeah, I think in the paperwork or in the terms for Amazon in New York, it was $48,000 for every job that they bring that Pays more than $150,000.
At some point they are not gonna get that incentive.
And there was another part that mentioned in lieu of paying taxes it would be developing infrastructure within Long Island City in Queens.
Not sure if I'm a big fan of that deal.
I don't know how many schools Amazon is making or how much it's helping with the subway or the police in New York, but.
I feel that that is something that, you know had, community organisers have always been annoyed about, in terms of this deal I know in New York they had basically given them largest part of attacks like they had their gun
Actually Maryland gave them the big Biggest with 8.5 billion, Newark offered the second highest publicly known one with seven billion.
But yeah, there are a lot of questions that people always ask as far as like this is one of the wealthiest companies in the world
It's one of the biggest companies in the world.
Why are we giving them any money?
I wish I could get paid $1.5 billion to move to New York but.
Or to do exactly what you were planning on doing in the first place.
So that's all the time we have for today's show.
If you like what you heard check us out on CNet.
I'm Alfred Ing.
I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
Thanks for listening.