In regards to the Queens side facing Manahattan versus it's opposite end, I'd like you to reference these two links:HQ2 on the far side of Queens would have been an entirely different project, with nothing else changed. But that wouldn't fit Amazon's short term purposes.
If I can't quote the NY state budget director involved in the Amazon negotiations then no source is worthy of quoting. Per his open letter (which has no refutation AFAIK):And since this fight is about who gets paid, who benefits, and who sacrifices, there is no room for objective statements. But lots of room to fudge the numbers at every step. When was the last NYC project that was so messed up it came in on time and under budget? Why would you trust the source of those numbers?
...People have been asking me for the past week what killed the Amazon deal. There were several factors.
"First, some labor unions attempted to exploit Amazon's New York entry. The RWDSU Union was interested in organizing the Whole Foods grocery store workers, a subsidiary owned by Amazon, and they deployed several 'community based organizations' (which RWDSU funds) to oppose the Amazon transaction as negotiation leverage. It backfired. Initially, Whole Foods grocery stores had nothing to do with this transaction. It is a separate company. While Amazon is not a unionized workforce, Amazon had agreed to union construction and service worker jobs that would have provided 11,000 thousand union positions.
"New York State also has the most pro-worker legal protections of any state in the country. Organizing Amazon, or Whole Foods workers, or any company for that matter, is better pursued by allowing them to locate here and then making an effort to unionize the workers, rather than making unionization a bar to entrance. If New York only allows unionized companies to enter, our economy is unsustainable, and if one union becomes the enemy of other unions, the entire union movement - already in decline - is undermined and damaged.
"Second, some Queens politicians catered to minor, but vocal local political forces in opposition to the Amazon government incentives as 'corporate welfare.' Ironically, much of the visible 'local' opposition, which was happy to appear at press conferences and protest at City Council hearings during work hours, were actual organizers paid by one union: RWDSU. (If you are wondering if that is even legal, probably not). Even more ironic is these same elected officials all signed a letter of support for Amazon at the Long Island City location and in support of the application. They were all for it before Twitter convinced them to be against it.
"While there is always localized opposition, in this case it was taken to a new level. The State Senate transferred decision-making authority to a local Senator, who, after first supporting the Amazon project, is now vociferously opposed to it, and even recommended appointing him to a State panel charged with approving the project's financing. Amazon assumed that the hostile appointment doomed the project. Of course the Governor would never accept a Senate nomination of an opponent to the project and the Governor told that to Amazon directly. The relevant question for Amazon then became whether the Senate would appoint an alternative who would approve the project.
I don't think they had a choice. Queens is ground zero for development. It's the largest of the 5 boroughs with smallest respective density with the exception of Staten Island which is not a good choice for obvious reasons.That they are settling for the "Manhattan on a budget" approach is just sad to watch,
Of course it reeks of committee decision but that is how NY and NYC manages its affairs and will continue to do so. The political will doesn't exist to change this committee behavior because there are too many entrenched actors affecting politics. This whole thing was a battle between politicians and unions to determine who will benefit from Queens' development. But regardless who wins, Queens will be developed; big change is in their future. The question isn't who was right or wrong, the question is which side will provide Queens the most benefit. Will it be small organic businesses who move the revenue needle slightly or will it be large businesses who fill tax coffers and election campaign donations? Amazon was of the latter but they were at least committing to developing affordable housing and educational philanthropy while also building a state of the art cloud computing training facility that could have been an educational pipeline for the local schools. The people in Queens are going to be gentrified but at least with Amazon they could have stayed a little longer and their children would have gotten skills they could use in the future.Come on, man. This isn't your first rodeo. You have seen how this game is played...This reeks of a committee decision.
And precisely because this isn't my first rodeo I know how the game is played. You seem to be of the mind that other choices were available. What I'm saying is that the choices have already been made. Does it make it right or fair to the citizens of Queens? No. But you get the government you vote for.