Ocasio-Cortez Slams Amazon's Plan to Locate HQ2 in Queens

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Virginia will give Amazon almost $600 million, while NY will give the company roughly $1.5 billion.

"We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia", Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement.

In a tweet thread, U.S. Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district includes Long Island City, criticized NY state's decision to provide Amazon with big tax breaks and questioned whether current residents would end up being displaced as a result of rising rent.

Amazon's statement said it would create four million square feet (370,000 square meters) of office space in NY, with an option to double that, and that the overall investment would boost tax revenue by some $10 billion over 20 years. They also handed over infrastructure, labor and other data that could prove useful in other ways to the world's largest online retailer.

As reports projected, the company revealed Tuesday that it'll route 25,000 new jobs to its "HQ2" in New York's Long Island City neighborhood, and another 25,000 to Arlington, Virginia.

Seattle-based Amazon announced Tuesday that its search for office locations had led it to two neighborhoods - Long Island City in the New York City borough of Queens, and National Landing, "an urban community in Northern Virginia less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C.", the company said in a blog post.

Neil Saunders of the research firm GlobalData said the new locations make sense for Amazon as it seeks proximity to political power, fashion and technology talent.

Amazon did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Amazon hopes to invest $230 million United States dollars (roughly $304 million CAD) to create approximately 5,000 jobs in the region.

Already, local politicians and community members are raising the alarm about both the corporate tax breaks and the impact on living conditions-particularly housing costs and congestion-that the company is known to bring.

Amazon reportedly won't be coming to Pittsburgh.

The headquarters split also means the economic benefits for the hosts will be muted relative to expectations, especially given the selected cities' size verses some of the other shortlist contenders.

The Journal and other news organizations reported that Amazon planned to divide HQ2 between two places, including the jobs and investment that come with it.

Still, the process has resulted in a year of positive publicity, highlighting Amazon's ability to create jobs and investments, even as the company has faced critics ranging from U.S. President Donald Trump to Vermont Sen.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that when it comes to bringing an influx of jobs to the community, "we need to dig deep". University of California, Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti estimates one high-tech job creates five more jobs in the service industry. Are these jobs low-wage or high wage?

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