New York may not win Amazon’s “Olympics” of corporate office scouting for its new “HQ2” headquarters, but it just won the silver medal: The e-commerce giant announced Thursday that it signed a 15-year lease for a 359,000-square-foot office space in the city’s Far West Side.
“We’re excited to expand our presence in New York — we have always found great talent here,” said Paul Kotas, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide advertising. Next year, the company’s advertising team will occupy a large chunk in Brookfield Property Partners L.P.’s Hudson Yards development at 5 Manhattan West. Recent Amazon acquisition Whole Foods will also open a location at the base of the building.
Amazon, which already employs more than 1,800 New Yorkers, plans to hire software engineers, data analysts and economists, among others. Last January, the company pledged to create 100,000 U.S. jobs by mid-2018, and it now promises that more than 2,000 of its upcoming new jobs are slated for New York over the next three years.
“Amazon’s decision to expand in New York is proof positive that the strong economic climate of this state, and New York’s diverse workforce and talent, are helping to attract top-notch companies from around the world,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Although the New York City Economic Development Council declined to offer incentives in the city’s bid for HQ2, the online retailer did receive a perk this time: According to Cuomo’s office, the company was offered $20 million in tax credits through New York’s Excelsior Jobs Program.
Not that Amazon wasn’t already fascinated with the region. Its recent initiatives cover a $9 million investment into a Brooklyn fashion photo/video studio, a 350,000-square-foot office on 34th Street and plans to establish a massive Staten Island distribution center, which will hire 2,250 operations employees.
Earlier this month, Amazon sparked a heated competition for its HQ2 development, with more than 100 municipalities vying to become the site of the new headquarters. The lure of $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs prompted New York to enter the race as well.
It’s not clear if nabbing the new advertising office will have any bearing on the city’s bid — Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment — but it may not matter in any case. Even before the Hudson Yards deal was announced, experts like prominent New York developer Stephen Ross believed the city’s chances were slim. In a Bloomberg Television appearance on Wednesday, Ross said he “can’t see [HQ2] really coming to New York, realistically” due to its high cost of doing business.