The state senator who represents Long Island City said Wednesday he would oppose giving “gobs of money” to Amazon to open a headquarters there.
“There’s never been an economic deal like this,” said Sen. Mike Gianaris, who will soon become the second-most powerful Democrat in the state Senate.
“This is a project that would change the very fabric of the neighborhood, and it’s a neighborhood that’s already being stressed.
“We’re asking all the wrong questions,” he added in an interview with The Post. “We’re tripping over ourselves to provide tax dollars into Amazon instead of asking what Amazon would do to improve the community.”
Amazon is reportedly eying Long Island City as the home for half of its “HQ2” expansion, potentially bringing 25,000 workers to the area and more than a million feet of new office space.
Gov. Cuomo has said he would “do whatever I need to do to make it a reality.”
It would be the latest revolution to come to the Queens waterfront neighborhood, which has been transformed from mostly warehouse space and working-class apartments into glitzy glass towers for well-to-do millennials.
Gianaris raised questions about where the new residents would live, where their children would go to school and how already packed No. 7 trains linking Queens to Midtown could fit more people. “To potentially give away vast sums of money when we’re in desperate need for our existing infrastructure cannot be justified,” Gianaris said, pointing to the state-run MTA.
“I don’t see how we can justify giving gobs of money away to a company that doesn’t need it.”
The lawmaker’s remarks echoed criticism the area’s City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has leveled at the potential arrival.
But it is unclear what Gianaris could do to hit the brakes on the project because so few details have been publicly provided about incentives Cuomo is offering.
“I would think the scope of what they’re discussing isn’t money that’s just laying around,” Gianaris said, adding he believed a package large enough to interest Amazon would likely require legislation.
Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that he is similarly in the dark about the project.
“We still at this hour don’t know what the final result will be. And because they have made such a point of keeping the final decision close, it’s just not prudent to guess,” the mayor said in lower Manhattan.
Source: New York Post