After months of speculation, Amazon finally announced the locations of their upcoming headquarters: Northern Virginia and Long Island City.
For those who are unaware, Long Island City is just across the river from Manhattan. What was once solely an industrial area is being rebuilt into a neighborhood that contains both residence buildings and buildings used for commerce.
Amazon has promised to invest $5 billion dollars into the sites and create 50,000 jobs in the process for both locations.
From a business standpoint, the choice of location makes perfect sense. It’s location allows for an easy commute from Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Amazon will join a long list of businesses who have relocated their offices to New York City and have helped the city to grow. Revenue from tax dollars and the salaries of the future employees will add to the city coffers. Anytime good jobs with a reasonable living wages are created, it can only help the employee and their city.
But, with the promises that Amazon is making, there are caveats. The first caveat is that the city has ensure that housing prices in and around Long Island City do not skyrocket higher than they already have, forcing some residents with more limited incomes to move elsewhere. The second caveat has to do with public transportation. Anyone who has ever rode a bus or train in New York City knows that it is not always smooth sailing. When the headquarters are open for business, there must be enough trains to ensure that everyone gets to where they need to go without too much of a headache.
While Amazon’s promises sound great on paper, they are simply on paper at this point. We will know in a year so if the promises turn into reality.