The New York Times is reporting that Amazon has officially chosen NYC and DC as the locations for its big planned expansion, known as HQ2.
This is big news for NYC, as I wrote about last week.
I would like to welcome Amazon to NYC. I think this is going to work out great for Amazon and for NYC.
I know there are plenty of “not in my back yard” opponents to this idea and folks who think growth is bad and we should not grow until we fix things that are straining under the load.
I appreciate all of those concerns. They are valid at some level.
But I am a fan of grow, prosper, invest, fix, grow, prosper.
And we are doing that in NYC right now.
I agree completely.We have huge issues in the city.They are dwarfed by the possibilities of growth and innovation to rewire and reimagine this amazing place.
Nimby alert.So this makes it harder for nimble NYC web tech startups to recruit the technical talent required to make a go of it? I assume so in the medium term, but i suspect that working for a tech giant has a sell by date. The sport of headhunting always needs more heads.And why is it called ‘Queens’? I thought NYC was a socialist republic with capitalist squatters in residence….and while i’m at it, why is Manhattan Island called ‘Island’? It doesn’t look like an island on the map. More like a drop lobe, or a confined peninsula.The never ending mysteries of the New World.
Nah. A rising tide lifts all boats
Might needs a boat if the global warming / sea rise is as forthcoming as so many believe.
yeah, and there’s the startup advantage of dangling the equity carrot in front of the talent.anyway, it’s a big river. plenty of donkeys to go around.
It’s called an island cause it is one.
where is its northern shoreline? you mean that narrow river, the Hudson?in my twisted world if i can throw a cricket ball across the divide it’s not really an island. i wonder how narrow the Hudson is?
you can’t throw a ball cross any of the three rivers that border the island of manhattan.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…
So it’s wider than it seems to be on the map. Does the Hudson bifurcate at the top end of Manhattan, with its east ‘tributary’ flowing onto the East River? It looks narrow, but must be deceptively wider than it appears to be. The main Hudson channel must therefore be very wide. This is clearly on a much larger scale than the Thames.
I leave you to google and maps to answer your questions.NY’s heritage was always tied to the rivers back when. People like my grandfather, arrived in NY before there were bridges or tunnels here. All boats and ferries and barges.
.When the Brits landed to punish the rebellious Colonials, they landed in Long Island Sound.It is reported that Geo Washington and Alex Hamilton were on horseback watching 300+ ships arrive in three waves over a month or two.I would love to have been there to see their reaction. GW probably looked at Ham and said, “Hold my mead, Al. This is going to take some doing.”The point is that the Brits kicked the Colonials across all those rivers, across Manhattan, across Harlem, until finally the Colonials crossed the Hudson.Then the Brits drove the Colonials across New Jersey until the Colonials took refuge across the Delaware.The Brits said, “Call me when the Delaware River ices over, boys. We’re going to kill all of you.”Geo W decided to use the Delaware to our advantage by planning a double envelopment, river crossing, in the dark.When you go to the US Army Command & Gen Staff College, nobody has come up with a more ballsy plan in the history of the USA.Geo W crosses, loses his southern pincer, kicks the snot out of the Hessians (who were throwing a no-hitter at the time), spoils their Christmas and the rest is American history.So, yeah, Manhattan is an island. Thank God because if it wasn’t we’d be speaking British right now.JLMwww.themusingsoftheibigredc…
and not Texish?The anniversary of the Brits sailing away from NYC is nearly upon us. 25th November. I’ve got it marked in my diary. Haven’t yet decided how to mark the day. Any suggestions? Perhaps a re-enactment at Battery Park, with a pole, a flag, and grease.What i find interesting is how little is written or widely known of the later war between the enduring allies. The one where the White House gets burned down and the Royal Navy kills off US trade along its eastern seaboard. So relatively recent, and yet so obscure. Hard to imagine that it ever happened. History is littered with just seemingly inexplicable events, when viewed from the perspective of today.George ‘lucky’ Washington. The reason the Brits backed off was more to do with the political divisions of the time back in Westminster. War requires will, as you know too well.
.The War of 1812 is under studied. It is an important war for just the reason you note — it was fought on US soil and we didn’t fare well.Many historians claim the US has never had a war on its own soil save the Civil War, but that is not true.Political commitment to a war is equal to the military commitment. It is what happened in Vietnam. We lost our resolve.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
.Easily the best and most insightful comment you have ever made. Come on, Arnold. That was funny.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
did you just bowl Arnold middle stump?
.Haha, nobody knows what you are talking about unless you’ve pitched a bit of that cricket stuff, eh?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
My first apartment in the city was in L.I.C. (literally under the N train; which I could catch at the end of my block). LOVED IT!Our first PubGears office was in L.I.C. (right near the Citi building you see here).So L.I.C. will always hold a special place in my heart.But really wanted them to pick Newark, as I think the city/area needed it more (and it would have been all the same access to the city, etc. – with slightly more affordable overall living).Newark is slowly coming back to life regardless – but they could have built something really special and unique there…it will be interesting to see if they just build another massive citi-like building or if they try to be more organically injected into the bones of L.I.C.Also will be interesting to see if they keep the spot on 34th they already have…and if they keep audible in Newark as well (pretty sure they will)…
I was really hoping for Newark too. It was a long shot but….. We need another baseball team to use the stadium by the river across from Harrison.
There is no reason to think that Newark and Jersey won’t benefit.No reason they won’t build their own water transportation system as well. Jersey by water to LIC is a no brainer actually.
I like that thought a lot – prob. also one of the cheapest things to get going (another ferry system).
Huge fan of ferries.Such a massive opportunity and advantage for the city.We ride them all the time to explore. Even to the Bronx!
Newark would have been a great choice for the entire Mid-Atlantic, Northeast corridor.
If there is a huge backlash in NYC and you don’t want Amazon, Chicago will gladly have them. It would be dumb to protest for a lot of reasons. Fred is correct, a rising tide lifts all boats. Amazon will make talent tougher to get in the short term, but in the long term it is a good thing for the NYC tech scene. Clearly, Amazon doesn’t care about taxes, cost of living etc because choosing NYC and DC isn’t about that where if they would have chosen Atlanta or Dallas, it clearly would have played into the decision.It would be great if they offered as much transparency into why they chose where they chose as the cities offered transparency on what they were offering to get Amazon to come there.
Don’t hold your breath on this!
Philly, by way of being situated between NYC and Washington DC, actually stands a chance of getting the ‘runoff’ from this. Potentially, companies who are attracted to the east coast will see Philly as an alternative location. If they could only market themselves they might even get the Chinese to buy the real estate.Not a super strong chance but more likely than Chicago or dozens of other places in the US.The problem with Philly is that it’s got no game. They didn’t even start building tall building until the 80’s (no building could be higher than fucking Billy Penn’s hat on City Hall). The attitude and the aggressiveness is all wrong. Talent flees to other places. God knows I sent my own daughter to NYC.  When I was graduating college wasn’t even a consideration to go to NYC as it was not anywhere like it is today, amenity wise (crime, dirty and so on). Among other reasons.To those who do not the clothes pin in the picture attached below was a ‘fuck you’ from the developers to City Hall (located right across the street) for requiring a percentage of construction to be spent on artwork. This was a big deal when it happened (1976). I think it was 1% or something like that. At least part of the reason was all the brainwashing from Fred over the years (really). https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
I don’t believe Philly will benefit much because LIC is not accessible. If HQ2 was in Newark, I’d agree. Central and North-Central Jersey should do well.
Hey when I started reading AVC Fred made some disparaging comments about having to travel into Brooklyn to dine (from memory). Now he is (I think) building apartments in Brooklyn. So you know things change and the idea is to get in front of it.
I’m a Philly optimist since I live here
The problem with philly is it doesn’t have the federal govt. check what I call the Medicaid test to see how vibrant your city is. There are 70 million people in the US who receive Medicaid. To be eligible you must be at poverty line and have no assets. Amazing how the most progressive companies avoid these places like the plague.
What does the federal government have to do with countless companies that do no business with the Federal Government that are looking to be located within easy distance to NYC or to the market in Washington that isn’t the Federal Government but companies that serve the federal government?
Washington DC Became the richest region in the US not because of the private sector but because it has been where money has been created over the last 30 years. Its spending power makes amazon seem like a mom and pop shop.
I am pro Amazon coming here (and I live in Greenpoint so LIC is literally my backyard [and subway line]) but as you say some of the NIMBY concerns are valid; the “HQ2” process (to put it mildly) has been anti-democratic and problematic up to this point; and Cuomo’s plan to circumvent City Council and standard planning even more so. I also do not think AMZN should be getting gigantic outsized subsidies beyond what is already on the books in terms of incentives for a company that’s adding 25k jobs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The local community groups who will oppose this are not powerless in this city, and Cuomo can’t afford to be too anti-progressive concerns given his (ha ha) presidential ambitions. Hopefully the outcome will be Amazon setting up shop as proposed coupled with a bunch of needed investment in transport and other infrastructure. And frankly from an equity perspective Amazon should contribute to this (vs simply consuming subsidies) but it doesn’t seem like things are set up for that to happen.
Who is saying NIMBY to Amazon ?? I’m surprised they picked an awful city like NYC (have they SEEN the J train?!) I’m just jealous
.Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Questions that amazon should answer before this tax payer bail-in (vs bailout)https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
.As a public company, Amazon is not going to say one word which is not required as an SEC reporting company. Period. They don’t have to.One may be tempted to think that is a tight lipped bit of chatter until one explores the required footnotes for a US SEC Form 10K (annual report) in which they have to report some very interesting information.I don’t think there is any misunderstanding as to who Amazon is or what they intend to do.They will be a source of incredible local political funding. So, there is that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
They don’t have to, but when you have your hand out looking to a subsidy, you no longer call the shots
Where is the vision? Not something Walt Disney would have done: Shame of Amazon’s short term thinking and Fred’s take, imagine if the HQ were in buffalo / upstate NY? A true modem city could have been designed, a dozen colleges within a few hours drive. As for DC, what a putz, this move just makes it more expensive for federal workers to raise families. Selfish moves by Bezos. This was a political move to protect its developing monopoly. As for shareholders, amazon completes on price, higher labor costs do not support this model.
I was sooo pulling for Detroit. Bezos even said they had the single best proposal. Maybe because the State and City handed the job to Dan Gilbert and his people. They were even going to have a building across the river in Windsor serviced by a dedicated ferry for all those Waterloo engineers. But alas lacking public transport and not having the tech curriculum Bezos wanted in Michigan schools disqualified them from the start. Sadly I don’t think they were ever really in the running.
Colleges would have lined up to support this. The real answer is amazon wants to go after a few businsses, advertising, payments, and gov procurement. Only the Chinese gov has a better 5 year plan!
I think it’s exciting they’re coming to nyc but I really hoped that they would go somewhere that they could revitalize and make a difference. Guy Kawasaki was promoting the idea of West Virginia to get people out of the mines and into Amazon warehouses, simultaneously putting an end to coal which I thought was brilliant. Few companies have the power to make people follow them and Amazon could have had an enormous and multifaceted impact, not to mention cheaper labor, land, etc.
I wonder if the present value of the sum of those benefits is greater than the tax incentives Amazon gets from day 0.
Ah, some mid-morning snark from a stranger. Always so refreshing. Thank you! You know, I almost added something about how the benefits I described clearly offer little value to shareholders, but then I thought everyone here at avc is far too savvy not to realize I was talking about added benefits to society as a whole…esp since Fred’s piece is about how Amazon will affect…society as a whole.
You know that they say about assuming… I did realize your point and I up voted your comment because I agree with your sentiment. Also the economic case for locating there is strong, so give yourself some more credit there. Social good isn’t always anathema to economic good.First, there are a ton of top tier schools relatively nearby West Virginia. Maybe West Virginia is too remote relative to the population Amazon is looking for and somewhere like Atlanta is better (Downtown is thriving and Georgia Tech anchored the entire redevelopment of that area – it’s an awesome place to be), but the location is probably fine.If we stick with West Virginia and assume that the population can do the work Amazon needs, Amazon can likely pay 20% less. This means the average salary is $80,000+ (based on the reported more than $100,000 for NYC, DC). If Amazon moves 25,000 workers there, and pays 20% less on average, Amazon would spend $500M-$825M less per year just on wages. The higher number assumes a 13% employer cost (taxes + benefits). In addition, construction costs would be lower.So West Virginian workers would earn 41% more than the median family income and Amazon would save billions. Contrast that with where you get making $100k in the NYC area – not very far.
Well, if that wasn’t snark, then I apologize…but do you get tax benefits on Day O? ;~)) Regarding the idea, I can’t take any credit. It was all Guy Kawasaki.
Agree but does having the HQ here have anything to do with the warehouses?They are and will continue to be everywhere I bet.
I’m sure they will be. The point was to get people out of the mines. Would be great if they could quickly be turned into developers, but obviously that takes more training than working in a warehouse – even if it is a warehouse as technologically advanced as Amazon’s. ;~))
There is that great tradeoff between cost of space the closer you get to the centers that consume everything (like NY of course) and the cost transportation.This is why I’m such a fan of technologies like vertical farming where you get to move the source the food to the areas that consume the most of it.Super time to be working now cross all these intersecting areas!
You know Meredith you should go there sometime and talk to them. They actually like working in the mines. I know it’s not your choice. They hate being told they need to learn some other skill by people that don’t work in a mine. It is a very tight brotherhood. (sorry I know that is not PC but it really is). They like it. On top of everything they smoke and drink. This upcoming week will be a huge hunting week. Today I am wearing Cabella’s gear.It is what it is. I can sit there and debate whether you like a 30.30, .308, .306, or 8mm. What game camera you like, range finder, what 55 cal muzzle loader is best. I know this is alien. But it is like that in much of the country. Ask Mike Nolan or Points and Figures what Northern Minnesota is like or me where I grew up in Texas, or my wife’s best friend in Lake Charles, LA.Frankly they resent the hell out of people that don’t know them and worse speak to them like they are an idiot child telling them what they should and shouldn’t do or aspire to. (sorry that is actually very toned down)
Of course. No one wants to be forced to make any change in their life and no one wants to be judged – esp when they’ve been doing such incredibly difficult and dangerous work for decades and even generations. People take pride in their work and they should. I’m really not sure about the smoking, drinking and hunting reference, but if it makes a difference, I do have hunters in my family right here in NY state and my husband is from Manitoba Canada, just north of Northern Minnesota, so I am very familiar with hunting culture. And I even own my own gear from Cabela’s. 😉 That said, I was actually in West Virginia 2 weeks ago, and I have friends who currently live there and others who are from there and still have families living there. Unfortunately, their experiences are not nearly as cut and dry and happy as those you mention, and there is frequent talk of not only getting out of the mines, but getting out of West Va bc of lack of opportunity. On top of the general danger of the job, the rampant safety violations (and pressure to hide them), and the insult of recent proposed laws to protect the industry by rolling back safety requirements, black lung is at it’s highest levels in the last 25 years. Yes, new exposure rules have been imposed, but when you’re in the mine, you’re still breathing the dust, despite precautions — and if you’ve already been there for years, every breath is only making it worse. So, despite the history and the comfort of a familiar job, my friends families don’t like it as much as yours do. They also realize that there is a compelling argument to be made that coal will eventually be phased out for environmental reasons, so even if they did really love their jobs, opportunities may dwindle. I’m not saying it will, I’m just saying they recognize it as a possibility and certainly something many people are actively trying to make happen. They definitely feel in the crosshairs and don’t like it at all. It threatens their entire way of life. That said, they really liked the idea of Amazon coming to them (viable or not) bc it would bring opportunities to W. VA that do not currently exist. It would have given them options, and that was the point I was making based on my experience.
I mean if you are in a coal mine, you have enough dangerous stuff.This is an eloquent quote: They definitely feel in the crosshairs and don’t like it at all. It threatens their entire way of life.
..about enough dangerous stuff.
People in mines generally do not hustle. it’s a slow pace. To work in a warehouse you have to hustle. I’ve worked in warehouses and even today with electronic help you can’t go at the pace that most coal miners typically work at. Not saying they wouldn’t change or impossible but off the top this isn’t super clear as pop in labor.
I can’t be 100% sure, but my guess is that you are making a pretty big generalization.
Of course it’s a generalization but it’s based on the type of work vs. warehouse. Very dangerous and deliberate. Also typically you are in one place with a machine. Have you ever operated dangerous machinery? I have. You have to work without injuring yourself. This is quite different than hustling in a warehouse. Even Jeff’s warehouse with automation.I would make the same broad generalization about guards at the courthouse. Not that they couldn’t hustle but quite honestly who wants to stand around all day in pretty much the same place doing nothing? Kind of the bottom end of law enforcement right above security guard (ouch!).You can say what you want about outlier cases but patterns typically do hold if you spend time observing people (which I do).
I’m actually an IATSE member and one of the first women invited to join the International Cinematographers Guild, operating cranes over crowds with multi-million dollar cameras attached to them, so I am very familiar with operating dangerous machinery and doing very deliberate work. That said, there is no good cameraperson who does not also hustle. While I can generally agree with you that the culture in a mine might not be one of hustling, I don’t think that should preclude an entire category of people from being considered for a job — especially one in a warehouse. In any event, this entire conversation is way outside the point of my original comment. Amazon made their decision and I am not trying to argue that they were wrong. I even said I thought it was exciting. I just think they could have made a more inspired decision that would have helped a community that is in a downward spiral, giving them options out of an industry that affects the air we all breathe and the weather we all experience. And while I realize Amazon has to answer to shareholders, if anybody has consistently NOT worried about what shareholders think, it’s Jeff Bezos, so it seemed particularly perfect to me.
Separately the reason for being in LIC or Crystal City has nothing to do with warehouse jobs or anything close to that. If it were about warehouse jobs that would not be the place that Amazon would locate, right?
This is getting silly. They made their decision. Ain’t nothing to argue about now. I just shared an idea I thought was interesting. You are perfectly welcome to dislike it.
This is getting silly. They made their decision. Ain’t nothing to argue about now.You are not my parent, teacher or boss (I don’t have a boss btw.).The entire purpose of having comments on a blog is so that (in part) people can have a discussion and a debate. If you don’t want to have people reply to what you are saying (and engage) then don’t make comments. Otherwise stay away from making personal attacks using language which belittles someone taking the time to do so with parental like statements ie ‘this is silly’.It’s not getting silly at all. And nobody is trying to influence a decision this isn’t a fucking board meeting where the gavel has been struck.
Right, so please give me the same courtesy you expect. I didn’t curse at you – which you did to me. I didn’t belittle you – which you did to me – several times. And I would hardly call saying “this is getting silly” a personal attack. There’s nothing personal about it. From my perspective, you seem to want to argue and WIN, not debate or discuss, every aspect of an idea that is now moot and that completely misses the point of my initial comment, and I just didn’t want to continue to go round and round with you bc it seemed pointless and, yes, silly. But if that word offends you to this extent, then I apologize. I definitely don’t need to be adding negative energy to the world, whether we agree or not.
Supposedly Amazon will be putting some jobs more like warehouse jobs in Nashville.But we can expect that Amazon will want warehouses nearly as frequent and well located as Wal-Mart warehouses and even Wal-Mart stores so that Amazon can ship by big trucks, trains, etc. to their many well located warehouses and, then, ship to customers with low shipping cost, e.g., by small trucks, drones, etc.My view is that Wal-Mart still has a chance: They have their many stores, warehouses, trucks, and suppliers, still much better than Amazon, and they definitely SHOULD be able to bring up a plenty good Web site.
LE’s tools seems blunt today.
Have you ever been in a mine? I have when a friend was putting in Wifi so when they have a cave in they might locate them, and monitor conditions.It is BRUTAL average life expectancy is less than 59. Dark, Heat, Dust, Claustrophobic, Loud, big machines that grind coal up, Cars that carry it that would crush you. There are other tough jobs like being in a cast iron sewer pipe plant. Been in a cast iron sewer pipe plant….brutal.But it pays $30/hr plus benefits and overtime and those jobs are coveted. They’d hate an Amazon warehouse at a 50% pay cut and you’d have to ship stuff there and then ship it back out to where people live.But this is another area where people want to hamstring American industry, that pays good wages. China has more emissions from coal than all of the U.S. and Europe fossil fuel combined. That is cars, EVERYTHING.It’s easy when you are in Davos, Switzerland to have those thoughts. Not when you have to support a family and realize that if everything goes away eventually your way of life dies.
You’re right. Its an absolutely brutal job and the mine owners are notoriously bad on safety. The Kawasaki idea was to create new opportunities in West Virginia, not to make their situation worse. I fully agree it would make no sense to drag everyone there if they weren’t helping the local community.
Guy Kawasaki is 100,000 feet off the ground at all times.He’s never run anything and every idea he has proves it.This idea is completely impracticable.
.Not building warehouses. Building a HQ with a lot of well educated nerds. No miners need apply.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I’ll have to find the Guy Kwasaki’s proposal. It was pretty amazing. Would have provided lots of opportunity for lots of different people while accomplishing Amazon’s goals.
.Did it win?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
For yoursimultaneously putting an end to coal which I thought was brilliant.Okay, for something so “brilliant”, maybe you have even a simple, grade school, common sense, credible reason that “putting an end to coal” is even good or even not just dumb, stupid, brain-dead, deliberately shooting our economy in the gut, close to sabotage of our economy and country???Okay, okay, I know; I know: Coal is a fossil fuel and, thus, is black, dirty, finite, etc. And coal is to be burned, and that emits CO2. And CO2 is by some said to be bad because it is a greenhouse gas and causes “global warming” which will cause the ice caps to melt, raise sea levels, flood coastal cities, e.g., NYC, make the oceans more acidic and, thus, kill the coral reefs and the associated eco systems, turn green areas to deserts, etc.So, we should look for credible, objective, scientific evidence. Net, there isn’t any. The evidence is no better than that of the Mayan charlatans who killed people to pour their blood on a rock to keep the sun moving across the sky. Without solid, credible, objective science, we will be back to superstition, black magic, ignorance, e.g., about medicine and epidemics, the black death, etc.So, without good science, we should look for the hidden agenda and follow the money. The money is from people who want subsidies, feed in tariffs, and lots of regulations to throttle fossil fuels and push useless, worthless, Greenie “renewable”, 100% natural, organic, etc. energy nonsense, have electric rates “necessarily skyrocket”. etc.But that is rationalism, and we have nearly all of the mainstream media given over to Nazi propagandist Dr. J. Goebbels style propaganda that sets aside rationalism, good evidence, solid science, objective information for just nonsense repeated over and over until people believe it.E.g., big NYT climate propagandist Tom Friedman claimed that CO2 causes global warming because it absorbs sunlight. So, tomorrow at noon, let’s step outside and see: Exhale and see if the CO2 absorbs sunlight. If the sunlight is absorbed, then we should be able to see detect the CO2. But we can’t. So, CO2 does not absorb sunlight. Sorry, Tom.
Not a fanboy. The city is already cash poor, w/ not enough resources to fund current needs. Where is the city gonna get the capital to fund needed investment in transportation and infrastructure? More taxes? Munis? The Fed Gov’t? (This admin isn’t gonna be kind to Cuomo, NYC and/or provide aide to WSJ owned, “postal dodging” Amazon). They’ll be a substantial tax rev base down the road (both Corp and personal), but that’s years out. Forget about the ethnic mix of residents living in Astoria (Greek) and LIC (Middle Eastern), part of NYC’s “beautiful mosaic” that is becoming less so. They’ll be pressed out, and if they stay rising housing costs and RE taxes in what once was relatively affordable areas of the city will become a new financial burden (happening in Seattle). The traffic heading in and out of the city from the east on the Long Island E, 59th St Bridge, midtown tunnel or North/South on the BQE is already a mess.This is hardly a fait accompli. Watch as the inevitable lawsuits surface to block this initiative (environmental impact, traffic, unfair incentives, etc.).Growth is good, as long as it is well planned and thought out. Not sure imo that’s the case here, relative to other cities and specific locations that were also under consideration (and could have benefited far more).
The answer to this:Where is the city gonna get the capital to fund needed investment in transportation and infrastructure?Is simple. “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.Watch as the inevitable lawsuits surface to block this initiative (environmental impact, traffic, unfair incentives, etc.).Here is an interesting idea. You want to buy real estate that will benefit but the prices are now inflated because Amazon is coming. So you fund some lawsuits in order to create FUD and drive down the cost of the real estate you want to buy. Then you withdraw the lawsuits.
Here is an interesting idea… This is so cynical but I know you’re being serious. It’s the Joker strategy v the Batman strategy.
What is amazing is how effortlessly I come up with these ideas.
It’s a gift. don’t reflect upon it as you might then lose it.
I am good enough to do that though. That is what you can do if you are ‘gifted’.
talent, temperament, and technique. the holy trinity.
talent, temperament, and technique. the holy trinity.
$1.525B of free money. What a bargain!
You have to love what a columnist for the Los Angeles Times has said about all of this.https://www.latimes.com/bus…Amazon should be made to pay for the privilege.You know how this person (newspaper columist or opinion writer) falls into a category of people that I love. Check this out:Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote that Amazon was taking advantage of communities whose bids would presumably include generous tax incentives. “The company’s approach is arrogant, naive and more than a teensy bit cynical,” Hiltzik wrote. “Rather than be offered bribes to move its headquarters into a community Amazon should be made to pay for the privilege.”Remember from Godfather 1, ‘who is being Naive, Kate’
Here is the thing of course it’s ridiculous to say they should pay.But I do think there is something wrong with paying one company to come and not another. I’m not saying Amazon shouldn’t have asked and LIC should not have given. Because that is the way it is played under the current rules.But how does somebody else like let’s just say Etsy feel about Amazon get’s this and they don’t (I don’t know that they do or don’t)
Well Fred (ETSY Chairman) seems to think it’s great. His comment was ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and he also said that he welcomes Amazon on this very page. He seems to be thrilled or at last happy about it.But more to your point if someone thinks it isn’t fair of course things are never fair. Right?Is it fair that where you live you have been able to have associations with multiple high level people? Why do you get an audience and others don’t? Isn’t that a version of the same thing? More jobs, more money, more influence you generally get a better opportunity. When has it ever not been like that? Only when there is some lottery way of winning.
LAT, media, at it again, writing stuff, just stuff, absurd stuff, pandering, insulting, ignorant, stuff, to get eyeballs and ad revenue. Reputation? Credibility? Inform the citizens? NOPE, none of those.One issue I looked into yesterday was Trump’s current claim that California has big fires because they do bad “forest management”. So, I did some Google searches.The first thing I found was that, with Google results sorted by “relevance”, ALL the links on the first 3 pages or so were all the same, Democrat party, Greenie attacks via the mainstream media with Goebbels style propaganda against Trump, especially from NBC and LAT.We can tell that the Democrat, Greenie stuff is just garbage because a lot of it, e.g., from Governor Moonbeam, wants to blame “global warming”. So we have a case of “never let a crisis go to waste”. I wonder how much an author or speaker gets paid by the global warming scam effort to mention “global warming”, “rising global temperature”, “melting ice caps” all, of course, with no credible evidence?With more Google searching with results sorted by “date”, eventually I found a pro-Trump site that tried to explain what was going on. Maybe there I was beginning to get part of the truth. Yes, for anything in public policy and/or from the mainstream media or politics, I very much NEED to give up on looking for even rough approximations of the truth. Or as Sharyl Attkisson explained, IIRC, “Nearly everything you see in the media was put there by someone who paid for it and is trying to influence your opinion.”.It appears, first cut, that there is a big pissing match between the Greenies who want everything with a tree to be 100% all natural, organic, as nature wants, totally untouched by humans. And on the other side are some people who want to do logging on some of the lands with trees. But the Greenies, even if only the convenient idiots, HATE logging and the loggers.So, what happens is, the lands with the trees that burned have relatively small trees. So sunlight gets through to the ground and lets brush grow. Also, as trees drop leaves and limbs and die, the Greenies don’t want such trash on the ground, or the brush, to be removed and, without loggers, there’s no money to remove the trash and brush. Then the first time there is a drought with some winds, it’s all up in smoke and damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Apparently Greenie Moonbeam believes that this is all 100% natural, organic, and GOOD!But what is supposed to be “natural” is that the forest is to have a lot of tall trees that don’t let much light reach the ground. So, there’s not much brush. Apparently with a lot of tall trees, the forests are reasonably safe from such forest fires.So, for forests with small trees, loggers would go in and clean out the trash and brush, cut out trees of unwanted species, and let the trees with valuable lumber grow. So, the loggers would do good “forest management”. But then, when the trees were ready for market, the loggers would “clear cut”, and the field mice, Thumper and his friends, skunks, raccoons (had one on the back porch last weekend, looked big, strong, well fed, healthy), foxes, Bambi and her friends, birds, and GREENIES would be REALLY upset.Of course, always look for the hidden agenda and follow the money.So the hidden agenda is a battle between the Greenies and the loggers. The loggers would spend the money, clean out the trash and brush, and keep down the fires, and harvest the trees, but the Greenies, tree huggers, don’t want the trees harvested. So, the Greenies block the loggers. But the Greenies don’t understand the need for cleaning out the trash and brush and/or don’t have money to do that so we get forest fires.For more, with US logging thusly throttled by the Greenies, the US imports more lumber, and that is likely part of the hidden agenda and source of money. I.e., lumber importers support the Greenies!! And LAT, NBC, Moonbeam, etc. all go along with the importers but claim that they are just trying to save Thumper and Bambi. Then the Greenies and Moonbeam blame the fires on global warming with the hidden agenda to excuse the fires to help the lumber importers and throttle the fossil fuel people and get subsidies for the wind/solar people.Trump, as anyone with even two functioning brain cells, some basic common sense, and not bought off by the Greenies, etc. and seeing the deaths, destruction, and millions in costs speaks the truth about “forest management” with his hidden agenda of helping the US logging industry, slowing lumber imports, and sticking it to the Greenies and their money for dirty politics.
Kudos to those cities for being the most competitive. NYC and DC (along with Chicago, Boston, or Philadelphia) have the type of labor to support Amazon. It was a sad race to the bottom to offer the most tax incentives so I fail to see where those places will invest or wisely use the tax revenue they will receive from Amazon’s employees. I view it as both a success and failure of our markets. Unlike sports stadiums, these HQs should result in a net benefit to their municipalities.
I heard that Amazon will open and take advantage of more than the two locations.What they have done is simple so let’s review.1) They called for proposals for a big headquarters that would employ 50k people.2) Everyone wants in and submits proposals no matter how distant a chance. ‘Not on my watch’ at work. Amazon gets to meet everyone important all at once in hundreds of markets across the US. Efficient.3) Amazon already pretty much knows where they want to go. But w/o the competition they can’t drive the best bargain there. Duh.4) Amazon decides to pick two places (a surprise to most people in the process) but then they also say they will open in some of the other locations. Very possible that the story was simply Crystal City but you don’t get as much w/o dangling a bigger prize so…5) Consequently they have negotiated deals of much better terms than they could if they just went into multiple markets with a typical and smaller requirement. Plus they get the best deal in the major locations that they pretty much probably knew from the start they wanted.6) While in theory the smaller markets could balk on giving the terms and benefits they gave for ‘the big one’, they won’t do that because Amazon has plenty of ‘plan b’s’ to choose from. So it’s similar say to going around to 200 factories and telling them you want to place an order for 100 machines. They all bid their best price. Then you tell them ‘oh I think I am going to start with one machine, ok? If I like it I will come back for the other 99’. Because the factories have put in so much time chasing the cheese they are more likely than not to give you a machine on the best terms as if you were buying many. (Maybe machines aren’t the best example but let’s go with it..)Did I ever tell the story of how I got a Silicon Valley company to disclose secret details on a machine they were building? I went to the product manager at a trade show who told me he couldn’t tell me anything about the machine at all. I said ‘that’s fine but my buyer is ready to buy 100 of these so get back to me here is my card (fake card btw)’. He stopped me from leaving the booth and told me everything I wanted to know. At the time I was working for their competitor. That guy by the way worked under the famous Steve Blank. It was really that easy to do. People are people and deals are people and people have flaws. And of course all of you are familiar with the theory that the more time and effort someone puts into a deal or a sale the less likely they are to back out. If not remember the next time you are waiting for a table at a restaurant and they tell you it will be 30 minutes but ends up being an hour and you didn’t leave because you had already vested so much time in waiting. (The theory here is ‘waste the car salesman’s time to get the best deal’).
.The Epilogue to your story — they picked two locations to keep both of them honest or they will double down on the better deal?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Hey look the movie is not over yet it’s only 70% complete. As such any and all of this could go sideways (I think to your point maybe). After all have any contracts been actually signed? What is an announcement such as today is it a legal commitment that can’t be broken?Remember the guy who was in the garment business that I once told a story about. Really shady ‘rich uncle’ of a girl that I dated in college. His last name was actually ‘Mogul’. He would go in and place a big order. The factory would work round the clock to fill the order. Then he would show up to pay. He would say ‘nah I don’t like this merchandise I will only give you $X’. That was less than the agreed price. And the factory would be faced with either agreeing or they would get nothing. Reputation? He didn’t care about that and it didn’t matter in this case. He could just move on to other factories and buy from them. And he could sleep at night. Niece certainly didn’t care. He gave her big gifts.Now of course that is not what will happen here. At least not in any obvious way. The skill is being able to do it and preserve your reputation and have the other guy apologize for his mistake.
Father in law, bright, hard working guy, inherited 88 acres of NE Indiana farm land, worked 20 hours a day but only 10 on Sundays, built his own house, chicken houses, feed mixing plant, etc. and raised 40,000 chickens at a time.So, sure a grocery store would tell him that they were going to run a big special on chickens if he could supply them 40,000. So, he worked, got the eggs and feed, and got the 40,000 chickens ready.Then the grocery store did to him something like what the garment guy did his suppliers: They wanted to pay less than agreed and/or wanted to wait a week for the big chicken sale. So, the extra week meant an extra week of feed for 40,000 chickens, and for less per chicken than agreed.After enough of this stuff, he did some of his own “marketing”: E.g., he found a guy who gave big chicken dinners for, say, Lions, Chamber of Commerce, and supplied chickens to him.Apparently stiffing suppliers is common stuff.Who was it, Leona Helmsley?
He should have thanked them for the lesson.Back when I sold my first small company I got quotes on both legal work and accounting work. When the acquisition was done I got the invoice. It was 3 times the price quoted. I said “you quoted $x what’s the deal?’. In the case of the attorney (Buchanan Ingersol btw) he had just started out in his own practice. He said ‘ok I will charge you the quote then.’. It was that easy. Then he said to me ‘you have taught me a valuable lesson’. Really. Then he hired me to do some work for him. That’s right. Ditto for the accountant. The accountant then hired me to do some work as well. I still use the same firm (since acquired by a big known firm) to this day. Nobody was upset. A child would cry but they didn’t . They learned their lesson. And they were thankful. Don’t know where the attorney is today. He was obese. Might have died from a heart attack.What was the lesson? Not everyone is a big corporation spending someone else’s money. Some people actually check legal and accounting invoices. Make sure upfront how you operate is clearly communicated or you will pay for it.
The New Yorker in me welcomes them with open arms while being extremely skeptical of the incentives that were presented as necessary (and footed by current taxpayers). But I’m also sad that it’s always New York: what happened to diversity of geography & strong regions? Amazon w/ 40k jobs could be a boon to Albany, Buffalo, and countless other metro areas outside of New York State. We have so much industry already – as a country let’s not keep putting all eggs in the same basket.
Amazon w/ 40k jobs could be a boon to Albany, Buffalo, and countless other metro areas outside of New York StateAna, let me ask you. When you take a vacation or you dine at a restaurant do you make the decision based on what place can best use your business?Why does anyone think this way when it’s not how they operate themselves on a personal level?
I do, because I care about sustainability and the health of places that I like enough to visit (especially repeatedly). It saddens me to think that you find my thinking here incongruous especially as this is and should be a matter of public policy, not the whims of individual decision.
The short sightedness of seemingly intelligent people is dumbfounding.
If what you are saying is correct (which it is for you let’s say) then you by the same token must think that all the people stuffing themselves into Manhattan (pre Amazon) should be somewhere else (such as Fred) because their money and presence would be better in those places.If the market thought like you (say you) do they would still shop at malls and for that matter also shop at a wide variety of online retailers instead of Amazon which is what they do or we wouldn’t be discussing this at all!.
All things being equal, I would tend to agree w/ you. Unfortunately, all things aren’t equal. Those geographies can’t offer or attract a robust talent pool. Sure, a lot of people would relocate, but not in the required numbers. AMZN in Seattle, a far more robust city wrt the talent pool vs. Albany, Buffalo, etc., and arguably a more appealing place to live, has to import massive talent to the city. I think this was a major impetus for seeking a HQ2, fish where the fish are.In a separate note, look how long it took to rebuild infrastructure in the downtown financial area post-9/11. It was a mess for well over a decade. AMZN will be up and running way before the city can address infrastructure and transportation needs. It will be bedlam seemingly forever, assuming infrastructure and trans funding can even be had w/ out further burdening city residents’ already enormous tax liabilities.
Housing?Amazon buys a big cruise ship and docks it somewhere nearby…Actually I wonder what the economics of that ‘offshore’ housing would be..
I live in LIC and although my rent will go up, I am super glad that Amazon chose LIC as one of their locations for HQ2. I feel that this will benefit everyone in NYC. Great day for the greater New York area.
the problem is that growth cannot occur in the existing system without exacerbating income inequality. the distribution of gains from growth is increasingly skewed towards the upper middle class and up, with the biggest beneficiaries being the wealthiest. only a larger reset can enable growth while averting this trend.
in conventional economics growth is king. nothing else matters. it’s grow or die! quality of life, social cohesion, commons values, ‘we’re all in it together’ (one nation, under god – how easily they forget this one), it just does not matter. this is early twenty first century ‘civilisation’. it’s nuts!!!
I will tell you the other big opportunity for someone to do in LIC going forward (true actually for other parts of NYC).Startup a private school to cater to families that will end up staying and having children as they mature.Sure they are not going to be as attractive as the usual established places with long standing reputations. But probably better than some public schools.Existing private schools:https://www.privateschoolre…
.Congratulations to LIC. Well played.This will have a huge impact when it is finished, up and running. Until then it will provide a Game o’ Thrones-like entertainment opportunity as the host and guest try to wrestle with some world class, uber expensive problems in the real estate, public transportation, housing, talent arenas.First up for the NIMBYs – totally legit in my view given the lack of pre-game consensus building coupled with the massive secret price tag – will be Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.She has learned how to set up a Twitter storm and she is hard at it.Go long popcorn as this is going to take a long time and be a real eye opener.Still, congratulations LIC and all that Freddie says is true, true, true. I see a 50% chance the deal never comes together – bad for all involved.Godspeed.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
While not all the points that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised make sense some of it actually is valid and she is correct.I mean who is kidding whom? (Correct english?). Of course this is bad for the have nots in that area. Go check things on realtor.com. Go try to buy something in LIC or rent now. I mean seriously..I’d be really surprised though if Jeff didn’t get ahead of this with some ‘we care’ theater and/or try to buy off some of the valid concerns of the democratic socialists.
.From a national perspective, folks are enjoying making fun of AOC, but the truth of the matter is she ran off a very powerful competitor in a primary.Her story is borderline fiction, but she had the moxie to make it up, tell lit, and stick to it.She does represent a lot of folks of similar viewpoint. It doesn’t make any difference what the rest of the world thinks if YOUR congresswoman is delivering what you want.You elected her and she only has you to make happy to get re-elected.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Maybe it was always or long often so and I didn’t notice, but as of the last 3 years to the stuff, and I’m being really generous here, that apparently nearly all the Democrats and even some of the right wing Republicans, have said and ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, Boston Globe, LAT have published essentially as Goebbels style propaganda I just can’t pay attention anymore.The stuff is NOT to be taken literally or even seriously, and tough to believe that there will be much real about it except that Trump lost the House and won’t be able to get through a bill praising even either apple pie or motherhood.Last weekend, from Senator Gillibrand, as athttps://www.breitbart.com/v…is:The potential 2020 presidential candidate said the president should resign, but said if not, the House “will hold him accountable” in office.“He’s got over a dozen credible allegations of sexual assault and harassment. But then you can add to that everything else,” Gillibrand told Geist. “This president has, again, torn at the fabric of who we are as a country and I think he is being held accountable right now by the electorate. The fact that all these voters have been marching and protesting since he was elected and then took it to the ballot box in 2018. That’s why 2018 was an important election for all of us. It was a wake up for America to fight for what you believe in and to restore our democracy to its foundings.”She later added, “I think this election was about creating oversight and accountability over this president and what he’s done in office.” So, she thinks that this election was about ” creating oversight and accountability over this president and what he’s done in office”, that is, massive mud wrestling and not governing the country.The “over a dozen”, well there are, as best I can count, Stormy, Steamy, Slutty, Screamy, Sparky, Sexy, Silly, and that’s only 7, with none of them more credible than what used to walk Times Square in platform heels and a micro-mini skirt with all her “intimate apparel” in the wash.So the Senator gave no names, details, or evidence. So, she and ABC, …, LAT and apparently organized and directed by the Democrat party, are just using the Nazi propagandist Dr. J. Goebbels’s technique of IIRC “repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it”.And Gillibrand and MSNBC expect me to pay attention to that stuff. NO WAY. Nothing about that stuff is real.I’ll just save some time paying less attention to the news.I am sure enough that if the House and Senate Democrats do nothing for the next two years but spout such total nonsense and the media repeat it as in Goebbels techniques, in 2020 Trump will be reelected and we’ll have Republican landslides in the House, Senate, and White House.Or, the Democrats don’t seem to understand that to pass out goodies to their buddies, the POTUS, Trump MUST sign off!Hillary, Gillibrand, Fauxcshontas, etc. for POTUS 2020 — let’s hear it!!!!
Cuomo will ram this through, with Amazon greasing the skids a bit to appease local pols. He’ll be long gone seeking higher office before any of this comes to fruition. It won’t fall apart cause this will be an integral part of his legacy, currently pretty weak I might add. One of the largest housing projects in the U.S. is in LIC, Queensbridge. Former Laker Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) is from there. If Amazon wants to win over the community, which they’ll need to do, they’ll commit to providing vocational training (and jobs) for the community’s disenfranchised. There’s legit opportunity to spin this decision into social good.
Is there much in the way of public corruption in NYC?
New York politics, especially in New York State, are a cesspool of corruption and self dealing.
I always had the sense that Mike Bloomberg tried to stand to the side of this ‘pageant’. Is that a solid observation?
I have to say that as someone running a mid-size NYC startup and believing in the future of the city as a tech hub, I am feeling conflicted. On the one hand, I do believe that, in the long run, this is a good thing, just as Google coming into New York was a good thing.That said, in the short to mid term, I think it creates some pressure on smaller startups in terms of recruiting. In a city where developer salaries keep going up and up (mid-tier developers now seem to clear over $150k before equity), we’ll see recruiting get increasingly difficult as smaller entities continue to have a hard time competing with the like of Google, Facebook, and now Amazon, in terms of compensation packages.In the long run, this will be offset by the number of employees living Amazon and either starting new companies or joining startups (as we’ve seen with Google).One of the more annoying thing to me is the amount of incentives that were given to Amazon to make this happen ($1.5B in state tax cuts). My sense is that New York City is strong enough that it should not have to give those types of incentives to attract a large player (Bloomberg rightfully put an end to such approaches and DeBlasio appeared to have followed suit on this so it’s not an NYC issue). Our governor would probably have benefited more from giving those incentives to develop a non-NYC area more, as it does with its VC investments across the rest of the state.All said, though, glad to see Amazon grow in NYC (they are already fairly large here) and glad to see Queens emerge as a new tech hub that will match the Flatiron/Chelsea and DUMBO areas. I guess we now need to think of how to open up dev centers in the Bronx and Staten Island so we have anchors in all five boroughs.
Congratulations NYC, well deserved!It’s not everyday that the second most valued company in the world wants to move into your neighborhood. Amazon is one of the few companies with exceeding growth and who provide valuable job opportunities. This sets a higher watermark for NY tech as a whole.
Surprised, and frankly disappointed, by your endorsement.Amazon managed to obtain a huge tax cut from TWO cities, a practice that many think should be illegal. I hope you will consider this argument and think whether your support/welcome to them is still the right thing to do.Of course, many of the companies you have invested in could potentially be acquired by Amazon. I can see how difficult it would be for you to openly criticize them. And yet, from Fred Wilson I would expect nothing less.I instead agree fully with your main argument (removing the “tax” part).