The push is on for Amazon to choose Long Island City for its second headquarters. But, what would that mean for the neighborhood? NY1's Gene Apodaca spoke local leaders and residents. He filed this report.
Residents of Long Island City, Mark and Denise Gorham, say they can see the benefit of Amazon coming to the neighborhood.
“I think it would be good in terms of the jobs,” said Mark Gorham.
However, they’re concerned that if the retail giant chooses LIC as the location for its second headquarters, the already bustling area would only get more crowded.
“I just don’t know if we can hold a whole new company coming in,” said Denise Gorham.
Amazon says its new location would employ as many as 50 thousand people at a cost of 5 billion dollars.
While it would be a huge undertaking, Borough President Melinda Katz says the neighborhood is ready for it. She’s written the mayor’s office urging the city to include LIC in its eventual proposal.
“The potential for growth is there, and the growth is happening,” said Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President.
Katz says the neighborhood already has several developments in the works which Amazon could fold right into.
On top of that, it fits within her office’s strategic plan to create an innovation hub in the neighborhood, paired with the recent opening of Cornell Tech across the East River.
That, along with access to education, transportation and the diverse workforce with more than 130 languages spoken in the borough.
“All of the items that Amazon said that they needed to make a second headquarters is right here in Long Island City,“ said Katz.
Frank Raffaele, The CEO and founder of Long Island City based Coffeed, sees a huge benefit.
“This staff is obviously educated, well compensated and they’ll be out here spending money and spending money in businesses like ours,“ said Raffaele.
However, there is concern over the added burden Amazon could place on the neighborhood’s already stressed mass transit lines.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who supports the proposal, says, he’d expect Amazon to share in that responsibility.
“With this proposal should it be successful, obviously has to come an equal commitment to additional mass transit options,“ said Van Bramer.
All considerations, as the city prepares its bid, looking at the best alternative to attract the company.
Whichever plan the city puts forward, it has to act fast. The deadline for proposals is October 19th.