Is the world’s third largest online retailer headed to Brooklyn?
Amazon, which has its headquarters in Seattle, announced on Thursday, September 7 that it is looking for a location for a second headquarter (HQ2) somewhere in North America, and local elected officials and business leaders are now lobbying to bring the ever-thriving company to the borough.
There is more than one site that would work for the giant corporation, and Sunset Park’s Industry City is one of them, according to its CEO Andrew Kimball.
“Brooklyn’s Innovation Coast is now on the map and we’re handing it to Amazon so that they know how to get here. Brooklyn is the only place that can add to the Amazon brand,” he said.
Borough President Eric Adams and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC) have collaborated to create “#BrooklynPrime,” an initiative to bring the company — worth around $500 billion, according to CNN — to the borough, citing the job and economic growth such a move would bring in its wake. The announcement was made during the Chamber’s Brooklyn Newsmakers Event on Wednesday, September 13 at Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon Street.
“We are heartened that the City has declared their intent to submit a formal bid for Amazon’s proposed second headquarters,” said President of BCC Andrew Hoan. “From the moment that this international search was announced, we had no doubt that Brooklyn was the prime choice for Amazon’s HQ2. The Brooklyn Prime campaign has generated exceptional buzz in our borough, a destination for innovation that is ready to create tens of thousands of quality jobs as a result of this unique opportunity. As proposals are submitted in the coming days, we will continue to dialogue with City Hall on this important prospect for our economic development.”
Bringing Amazon to Brooklyn would be a “tremendous opportunity,” added BCC Board Chair Denise Arbesu, saying that adding the company to the borough’s roster would “further bolster Brooklyn’s thriving Innovation Coast, provide needed economic support in a range of related industries and make an enormous economic impact on surrounding communities.”
According to Amazon, the company plans to invest over $5 billion in construction and growing the location it settles on to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Adams and Hoan wrote an open letter to Amazon explaining why Brooklyn is the best choice for HQ2.
“Our quality of life is second-to-none, with world-class arts and culture, five-star foodie experiences, healthy workplace initiatives, and incredible transit access to all of the natural beauty our region has to offer,” the letter stated. “Most important, we have the human capital any top-tier global business is looking for; with 90 spoken languages, Brooklyn is the living embodiment of the United Nations. With several prime options along Brooklyn’s Innovation Coast already in construction, stretching from Sunset Park to Williamsburg, we can accommodate your immediate and long-term needs.”
The borough’s diversity was a selling point. “Our one-of-a-kind energy,” the duo wrote, “is what has been attracting innovators, freedom riders, and immigrants from every other place on Earth, what has more than 2.6 million people waking up here every day, what has young scholars selecting our schools, and what has the public and private sectors investing billions of dollars here.”
As of now, Amazon is remaining mum on the subject. “We are not commenting beyond our HQ2 press release issued last week,” a corporate communications employee wrote to this paper.
Brooklyn isn’t alone in its desire to welcome Amazon’s HQ2. According to The New York Times, cities such as San Diego, Chicago, and Dallas have expressed interest, along with states such as Michigan.
However, Adams and Hoan believe the borough is the best destination. “Brooklyn is the prime location for Amazon and its future,” they concluded in their letter.