Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio Announce Long Island City for New Corporate Headquarters

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Governor ANDREW M. Cuomo (center), Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) celebrate with Amazon VP of Global Real Estate and Facilities John Schoettler Over Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City, Queens. (NYC Mayor’s Flickr)

New Campus Represents the Largest Economic Development Project In New York State History

Amazon Will Create 25,000 to 40,000 New Jobs with an Average Salary of More than $150,000, Invest More Than $3.6 Billion Over 15 Years and Create $27.5 Billion In Tax Revenue Over 25 Years

238 Cities Across North America Competed for Multi-Billion Dollar Project that Provides Over 900% Return on Investment to New York 

November 13, 2018–New York City–Shown is an aerial view of the location where Amazon will establish a new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The decision followed a comprehensive, year-long selection process during which 238 cities across North America competed for the multibillion-dollar project. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

NEW YORK, NY — November 13, 2018 — Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Amazon will establish a new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The decision followed a comprehensive, year-long selection process during which 238 cities across North America competed for the multibillion-dollar project. More information is available here.

VIDEO of Governor Cuomo’s remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of Governor Cuomo’s remarks is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

It’s our pleasure to welcome you here. As part of the agreement Amazon is going to go through a brief training program to adopt a New York accent, which was part of the MOU. We have a lot of important people with us today, I’d like to recognize Bill Rudin and John Banks and Gary LaBarbera who represent the building and construction trades, let’s give them a round of applause. Let me take you through a couple of the specifics and then you’ll hear from the Mayor of New York.

This is the largest economic development initiative that has ever been done by the City or the State or the City and the State together, believe it or not. The numbers, this is up to a $3.6 billion investment by Amazon, 25,000 to 40,000 direct jobs, average salary of over $150,000. That’s the average, there are also lower paying jobs, obviously, and higher paying jobs. The number that we focus on is the number of direct and indirect jobs because you create that nucleus of direct jobs but there are then indirect jobs that are always created, that’s estimated 107,000 jobs. Total economic impact, $186 billion.

This was a fierce competition over 54 states [54 states, provinces and districts], some publicly offering significantly more in economic subsidies than we offered. Our subsidies over 25 years, the State Excelsior Tax Credit of $1.2 billion, State Capital Grant of about $505 million, New York City programs of REAP and ICAP, $897 million, $386 million. The total state and city revenue that will be produced is estimated at $27.5 billion. The revenue-to-incentive ratio is nine to one. That is the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program that the State has ever offered. To give you an idea, the Film Tax Credit Program, which is one of our main economic development programs, is we invest $1, we get back $1.15. But, we get 15 cents more for every dollar. This is a nine-to-one ratio, and the State doesn’t believe we’ve ever done an investment program with that high a ratio. So we’re very excited about it. We’re looking at up to an 8 million square foot campus on Long Island City’s waterfront, which we’ll be working to expedite the construction.

ESD will do a project plan in cooperation with New York City and in consultation with the community, which is the community on that Long Island City waterfront. In many ways, this is a perfect location and there’s a lot happening in Queens. Amazon talked about the infrastructure and improving infrastructure. No state and no city is improving infrastructure as much as New York State and New York City or as quickly.

This location is approximate to LaGuardia Airport, which is now under construction, which is going to be the first new airport in this nation in 25 years. It’s approximate to JFK which is under construction, which will be the first international new airport in this country in 25 years. It’s right next to Citi Field, it’s right next to the AirTrain, which is under development, which will go from LaGuardia, Citi Field, to the new Penn Station, which is across the street from Penn, which is under construction. And if I can get Gary LaBarbera to get us more workers, we’ll be done even faster. That was just a little “bota”, we would say in Italian. New Kosciuszko Bridge, which has one span up and the second span is being expedited. The city has done a magnificent job with ferry service, which will go right from that Long Island City waterfront, right to midtown Manhattan, literally in five or ten minutes. So in many ways this location benefits from many other investments that are going on and many other initiatives that the city and the state are in the midst of. 

And the Mayor and I were talking about this, we were together at Housing and Urban Development for many years. The key for a state or a region or a city—you want to be ahead of the economic curve. Who is attracting the businesses of tomorrow, today? And that is the city, the state, the region, that will flourish. Economic development is the engine that pulls the train, period. Either you are creating jobs or you are losing jobs. Either you are part of the economy of tomorrow or you are part of the economy of yesterday. This is a competition and for us, this is about being part of the economy of tomorrow. And Amazon, no doubt, is a big, big asset in the entire tech space. I believe there’s going to be a positive synergy with many of the other companies. Cornell Tech, Google, Squarespace, so I think it’s exciting for Amazon. I know it’s exciting for the state of New York and it is exactly putting us ahead of the curve.

This was a very difficult process. As I mentioned, 54 states [54 states, provinces and districts] supposedly competed. We know from public information that many of the states and cities were offering more in economic incentives than we were offering. We believe that we had other benefits that were inherent to what we were already doing and with the arrogance of a New Yorker, inherent to New York. But, there’s no doubt that it was a very tough competition and I want to credit the teams that actually did this. The state, city, partnership made it happen. It would not have happened without the partnership. I applaud the people on my side—Howard Zemsky and Robert Mujica and on the city’s side—Alicia Glen and James Patchett did a great, great job working together. There were a lot of twists and turns and they had to constantly adjust and they did, and they did a magnificent job. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. And I believe the credit goes to the top—to the CEO—because we know the blame goes to the top whenever there’s bad news. So I think the credit goes to the top and I think the credit goes to the Mayor of the City of New York. Congratulations, job well done.

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SOURCE: New York State | Executive Chamber | Press Office

eHeziGovernor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio Announce Long Island City for New Corporate Headquarters

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