Along with tax breaks, tax credits and public subsidies, add a toxic creek to the list of reported perks cities are offering Amazon.com Inc. as they vie to be the home of its massive second headquarters.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going all-out to land the so-called “HQ2,” the New York Daily News reported Tuesday, offering incentives said to include hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies and renaming Long Island City’s Newport Creek the “Amazon River.”
But that might not flatter Amazon much. Newport Creek is one of New York City’s most toxic waterways, polluted over the years by oil and raw sewage, and was named a federal Superfund site in 2010. The creek is a tributary of the East River, and serves as part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens.
Amazon’s HQ2 is expected to be an economic boon for whichever city lands it, employing up to 50,000 workers and generating more than $5 billion in investments from Amazon alone. The site is expected to draw highly skilled, high-income workers, attracting other businesses and boosting housing prices.
The shortlist is down to 20 cities, including Boston, northern Virginia, Atlanta and Chicago. The proposed site in Long Island City has received a recent follow-up visit from Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, suggesting it’s on the short-short list.
The search for the HQ2 site has been underway for more than a year, and it is unclear when Amazon will make a final decision, though reports say it could be announced by year’s end.