A Horrible Day For Long Island City

Amazon has canceled its plans to build HQ2 in Long Island City.

Why?  From the press release:

“a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”

That’s the sole reason.

Upon hearing the news, did these politicians representing the people of Long Island City rejoice?  Did they really feel their enemies were vanquished?  Do they really think the ideals they were fighting for/against will be rectified to any greater extent?

No, I think they went all in thinking the corporation would cave to (some) of their demands.  They basked in the limelight of protest garnering profiles and interviews in national and international press.  Then Amazon called their bluff.

In an instant all the good they did in their political lives, any legislative accomplishments, any goodwill they engendered, vanished.  Worse, all the people in the neighborhood who would have benefited from HQ2, be they poor, wealthy, or somewhere in between, now get nothing.

Long Island City will forever be known as the city that let the big one get away, and there are two people overwhelmingly responsible for it.  You own this Mike Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, you own it.

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22 thoughts on “A Horrible Day For Long Island City



    – Local restaurants and services have lost their true potential.
    – Local apartment owners lose their true potential.
    – Local renters lose potential.
    – Condo owners lose their potential.
    – NYC students lose the potential to thrive in excellent, modern day jobs.
    – Anyone looking forward to the future loses their potential locally.

    Blame Gianaris & Van Bramer for sure. Blame Amazon too – they are bigger than this.


    • Local resident says:

      How do local renters lose potential? You are way off base. Amazon would have increased the already unaffordable cost of living to new heights. Thank god they’re going somewhere else.

      • Anonymous says:



        Renters would be paying probably the same price (minus free month concession) for the next few years but would be benefiting from new restaurants, new bars, new services, new retail, better transit w govt focused on proving they can handle the new volume, new schools for their kids, new excitement in the area. That is potential that is now gone. At least the rent will stay the same for them.

      • j rashnee says:

        The benefit of renting in LIC is the convenience, the relative low density, and the feeling of the mixture of unused lands with some activity, while being close to manhattan and airports. I am glad that is staying as is for a bit longer. If we wanted Tribeca, we would have moved there.

      • Local resident says:

        Rent would have increased significantly and amazon would NOT have helped local businesses, many of which rent their spaces. In fact, the rent increase for many businesses would’ve put them out of business! Amazon not coming will help the likes of small restaurants on Vernon while keeping out the big boxes (Starbucks, Panera, etc..) for a little while longer

      • Local resident says:

        Furthermore, 1 month concessions only help new renters not the people who rent and have lived here 4+ years. I understand you are upset bc you are most likely a property owner who could have seen their home value increase significantly, but your comments on amazon benefitting renters in the area is highly misinformed and honestly tone deaf.


        Seems the overall intent of my comment is being focused on one comment about renters losing potential and those renters not happy about an INEVITABLE rent increase (in the next 2-10 years) cares about the biggest losers being “NYC students..thriving in excellent and modern day jobs.” Who cares about their future; we just want to keep the rent down.

        Re. rental prices, the supply of rentals coming into the neighborhood in the next five years will be extensive. From what I read, this should theoretically help rent prices from increasing drastically within this time frame if Amazon was here. There will certainly be an uptick and some people will get priced out, albeit local realtors may be able to speak to this better and I encourage any viewing this discussion to jump in and comment. That seems to be the basis of the backlash on my broader comment.

        More specifically, my comment re. “Renters lose potential” was not directed only at current renters but also those coming into the neighborhood in the coming years. For some time, the neighborhood likely won’t be offering the same “potential” for new services, retail and restaurants that it would had the opportunity of additional foot traffic took place with Amazon here.

        Re. rent going up for small business owners, in theory, so should their revenue – unless their product isn’t good and they close down. Also, the rent has been going up anyway and the fact that foot traffic isn’t where it should be has already led to the demise of several small restaurants and businesses in our area before Amazon came in.

        Separately, the intent of the LIC Investment Strategy was to “strengthen the area as a Central Business District by increasing space and support for current and future business; expanding access and worker training for good jobs in diverse fields; and increasing opportunities for small businesses” while “preserve(ing) and build(ing) a diverse range of housing options to ensure a vibrant, mixed-income neighborhood with live/work opportunities and access to jobs throughout the city and region.” That was the goal and it should continue to be. The question is whether Amazon coming in fulfills those goals.

  2. Yeah Fuckin Right says:

    Don’t be so ridiculous. How can you trust anything Amazon claims it might have brought to LIC when it is clearly so capricious as to withdraw from New York after a little protesting? All those jobs would have gone to H1B’s from China.


      Amazon definitely is to blame as well. They could have taken the lead with the local politicians and they are as bad as Van Bramer and Gianaris and AOC. All parties refuses to enter a discussion and simply said no and pandered. Communication is key. Saying no gets us nowhere. How is progress made in any effort, whether it be business or anything else, when you don’t have productive conversations?

      Not sure I understand your comment re. China. They were moving to NYC for the talent and whomever that talent is, whether it be black, White, purple, pink, religious, non-religious, is up to them because they run a company and make their own decisions.

      The role of government is not to tell companies how they should operate. Government should have brought Amazon in and held them to certain promises to work together in a productive manner for the people and region. Our politicians said NO from the get go and started out on the wrong foot. Now the investment and opportunity is lost and the future promise is gone.

      • Yeah Fuckin Right says:

        Amazon is NOTORIOUS for hiring the cheapest tech labor possible. Many of their software engineers are foreign workers on H1B visas (especially from a China and India). They are essentially slave labor for Amazon for the duration of their sponsorship. If you thought Amazon was going to hire the full rainbow of Queens locals, honey you got another think comin.

  3. McKanna says:

    You are spot on with this commentary. LIC is a massive loser in this. The silver lining for Van Bramer is that the overpriced and overdue library will no longer be his legacy.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. […] that let the big one get away, and there are two people overwhelmingly responsible for it.  You own this Mike Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, you own it.” LIC Talk […]

  6. Pointer says:

    As a land owner in Hunters Point I am taking a huge sigh of relief regarding the Amazon pull out. It would have turned the entire area, already suffering from an emergency lack of infrastructure, into a war zone. The campus site can now be developed with resiliency, community facilities and meaningful jobs that will not obliterate existing high tech companies. What a great opportunity.

  7. Confused LIC Resident says:

    While this deal was done with a non-disclosure agreement, like many other deals are, it seems this deal was cherry-picked by our politicians, in particular, because Jeff Bezos is the worlds richest Billionaire and Amazon is the worlds largest company. A stand could be taken to prove a point nationally.

    What is the role of our local government? For the next companies wanting to reside in LIC, is it the role of JVB, AOC and Gianaris to scrub the their internal practices and determine if they fully agree? Do they all need to be pro-union? Is there a standard we’ve all agreed to in an effort to allow companies to reside in our neighborhood? What about the current companies? Should our politicians perform background checks to verify whether they meet this standard? If they don’t, should we kick them out?

    What do the LIC residents expect going forward? Seriously? Let’s start a debate.

  8. Trump2020 says:

    Okay now that Amazon is a done deal, take that 3 billion dollars and build the WALL!!!

  9. election says:

    FWIW, public advocate election is on Feb 26th. Ron Kim in particular staked his candidacy on being anti-amazon.. Eric Ulrich was friendly.


  10. Anonymous says:

    >> Then Amazon called their bluff.

    What bluff? You seem to be forgetting about those of us who don’t want Amazon here because they aren’t willing to actually contribute to the neighborhood.

    Look what happened with every other neighborhood where they promised things but weren’t required by law, or contract, to implement them.

  11. Kay m says:

    Citibank will be leaving next year. One of the breweries is leaving too.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amazon is a notorious indifferent neighbor in Seattle, its hometown. How would it behave in the LIC outpost? We will never know but the fact that they left so quickly as opposed to making a few concessions, indicates that it would have been very optimistic that they would have delivered on their promises.

    Plus, has any one actually seen the statistics that Amazon would have created 25,000 jobs making an average of $150k. This number seems very inflated as the average tech salary in NYC is $110k while the Amazon number would have included support staff such as maintenance workers, janitors, administrative assistants, etc.


    How could the loudest opponent to the Amazon deal (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) partially cause Amazon to leave LIC, yet she’s criticized all weekend by her own party that she didn’t understand the financials of the deal? She spread wrong information into the public and scared away all these jobs. Where is Cuomo stepping in as a seasoned leader to take on this huge issue? Where is the apology from AOC?

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