Rather, Amazon's top priority was having access to a sizable pool of highly skilled employees, Farren said, and it likely would have chosen the same two locations even without the subsidies.
Amazon has said it will build offices for up to 25,000 people in New York City's Queens borough and in northern Virginia, near Washington DC, ending a year-long bidding war for a $5bn second headquarters that will now be split in two. In New York, the figure is $1.525 billion in exchange for the 25,000+ jobs.
Long Island City and Crystal City would meet Amazon's other requirements: be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be within 45 minutes of an worldwide airport; have direct access to mass transit; and have room to expand. "But instead of bailing out the people here in NY, our own Democratic governor is willing to give-transfer wealth out of NY and give it directly to the pockets of the richest man on the planet?" "It hands out a lot of hefty incentives, a lot of long-term incentives".
There were early signs that Amazon had its sights set on NY and northern Virginia.
NY and Virginia beat out 18 others, including Los Angeles and Chicago, on a shortlist Amazon released in January. It approved a corporate tax this year to help the homeless, though the tax was repealed after being challenged by the local business community, including Amazon. He said the deals, which were announced Tuesday, were "expensive". "We're glad they're here", Lambert said.
Amazon, which started as an online bookstore two decades ago, has grown to a behemoth that had almost $180 billion in revenue previous year. But the company will be able to take advantage of existing city tax credits, including a program designed to encourage companies to create jobs outside the busiest parts of Manhattan. In Virginia, the company could receive as much as $500 million in cash incentives.
"The city will contribute staff time towards the organization of the conference and will participate in the event as a sponsor", says Chris Rickett, manager of entrepreneurship in the city's economic development division. But today, Long Island City is a rapidly developing neighbourhood full of hip bars and luxury apartment complexes. "We're in a very different world now".
The hope is that Amazon will attract other companies and ultimately boost the local economies.
Gov. Cuomo, who worked in tandem with Mayor de Blasio to negotiate the Amazon package, said the flippers are ignoring the benefits of snaring Amazon.
The two localities already reflect the ultra-pricey NY and Washington metro areas, though real estate sales there had been relatively modest of late.More news: Rajinikanth's 'Petta' confirmed as Pongal 2019 release
"We believe Virginia has a tremendous amount to offer to Amazon", Virginia Governor Ralph Northam told a gathering in Arlington after the announcement. That is especially concerning, he added, when entrepreneurship rates are falling and cities are struggling to nurture homegrown businesses.
The year-long saga that saw Amazon Inc.
The competition had been derided in some quarters as a "Hunger Games" contest pitting cities against each other, with rival bidders piling up offers of incentives for one of the largest and most successful global corporations.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat who will represent parts of Queens in the House of Representatives starting in January, was one of several elected officials to criticize the deal.
Amazon said it will spend $5 billion between both locations on construction and other projects.
"If Amazon was pursuing subsidies, it made the wrong decision", said Michael Farren, a research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
Of course, these are just the benefits of the deals Amazon did sign.
We've contacted Amazon for comment, and will update this post with any response from the company.
Still, on the surface, the deal appears to be better than most.