Skip to main content

In longshot Brooklyn bid for new Amazon HQ, a Hail Mary for Site 5?

It got a lot of buzz yesterday, accompanied by some chest-thumping rhetoric--“We’re going to bring it home, no matter what,” claimed Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce--but Brooklyn's bid to become the second headquarters for Amazon, with 50,000 jobs, has got to be a real long shot.

After all, the New York Times's The Upshot already suggested Brooklyn wasn't a realistic candidate, saying New York City wouldn't even make the top nine cities because of the high cost of housing. (Their pick, which factors in job growth, labor pool, quality of life, transportation access, and willingness to provide subsidies, was Denver.)

Still, as Crain's reported yesterday, Brooklyn landlords are banding together, pushed by the Chamber's Hoan and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (see their open letter):
Owners like Jamestown, Rudin Management, Forest City and Rubinstein Partners believe it makes sense to partner up to pitch the borough's office properties, including Industry City, rather than compete against one another in an already hyper-competitive national contest to woo the e-commerce behemoth.
"We're working together to highlight the extraordinary opportunity that we can offer," said Andrew Kimball, the CEO of Industry City, the sprawling campus of former industrial buildings in Sunset Park owned by Jamestown and a group of partners. "Brooklyn's innovation coast from Williamsburg to Sunset Park has numerous opportunities for a campus-like environment with an ecosystem of academic institutions, a skilled labor force, bedroom communities and culture."
Innovation coast?

The article noted that Industry City might be home to the bulk of the space--um, transportation?--but cited a new office building in Williamsburg as another part of the puzzle.

Forest City's office space

What about Forest City? Would they be trying to fit Amazon into a floor or three at MetroTech? No, they're involved as partners in one speculative office tower in Downtown Brooklyn and, of course, as part of Greenland Forest City Partners have floated grand plans for office space at Site 5, catercorner to the Barclays Center, as well as changing the B4 tower, at the northeast corner of the arena block, to office space.

Neither of the latter two plans have moved forward, but surely if they could get a commitment for the "Amazon Building at Site 5," they'd be thrilled.

The Bridge noted that the campaign slogan is #BrooklynPrime, a play on the Amazon Prime service and pointed out--keep watch--that a "big variable is how much the city will put up in incentives including land, tax credits, relocation grants and other sweeteners." Which might make it a nice deal for the landlords more than the public.

Comments