Amazon on HQ2: We're going to offer residents high-paying jobs

A page from Northern Virginia's submission to Amazon shows the areas for potential expansion of Amazon's new offices in the region

"All you have to do is look at the skyline from Manhattan".

The Windy City offered at least $2 billion in tax breaks, including sales tax and utility tax exemptions, property tax discounts and a $450 million grant for infrastructure spending. The Texan city had offered economic incentives worth up to $US1.1 billion ($US22,000 for each of the 50,000 jobs). The housing market will be one aspect to watch as Amazon employees and executives start exercising the option to move to NY or Virginia, Bishop recently told KIRO Radio.

"First of all, the sheer size and scale of Amazon and its interest across many areas of technology, retail, and various consumer services". The state choices were only finalized after approval by Treasury Department officials in July.

The offices will be built in Long Island City in the borough of Queens and National Landing, a newly named swathe of Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, which sits across the Potomac river from Washington.

New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens, was rallying opponents to the Amazon deal, claiming city and state officials offered too much in tax incentives.

Shares in property companies expected to benefit shot up after rumours of Amazon's selections circulated this month.

But investors were already pouncing.

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Neither New York nor the Washington, D.C., area have trouble generating jobs for their more highly skilled residents, but both struggle with higher-than-average unemployment, higher-than-average poverty and limited social mobility.

"This will help expedite the process of building up the surrounding area", Bernstein said. But once Amazon established its presence over the next seven years, median rental rates skyrocketed over 41 percent, while rental prices nationwide went up just 17.6 percent.

Amazon's payouts are dependent on the tech behemoth delivering on its promise of however many jobs, as well as its investments in local infrastructure.

Investors who plow capital gains into Opportunity Zone projects can defer taxes on those gains up to 2026. As well, the company will receive a cash grant of $US325 million.

Critics worry that such sweetheart tax savings would benefit real estate interests aiming to direct investment into areas that are not truly disadvantaged, but instead are already bolstered by neighborhood gentrification or due to their proximity to expanding institutions such as hospitals, colleges or other facilities. "For a high-cost market like Long Island City, incentives are a necessarily evil". Also according to Kimmelman, tech workers, "increasingly.demanded the diversity and benefits of city life". That means tens of thousands of new residents in areas where housing supply is already tight.

Average rent right now in Crystal City is $2,387 per month, while LIC is $3,458 per month. This includes a refundable tax credit of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of salaries Amazon expects to pay over 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000. To do the deal, the public sites will be put under state control and leased to Amazon for the paltry sum of $850,000 a year, according to the agreement, which also includes a provision for a helipad that would allow Amazon executives to fly directly to and from the campus.



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