By ARIEL HERNANDEZ
It is hardly a surprise that Amazon has been eyeing expansion in New York City, and even less of a surprise that the city has been eyeing it back.
Last week, the online retail titan announced the purchase of the former Bulova Watch headquarters in Woodside. But the company plans to redevelop the site as a distribution center, and not the corporation’s much-anticipated “HQ2” for which the city has bid.
Amazon officially signed the lease to take over the one-story 83,000-square-foot Bulova building, located at 26–15 Boody St. Beginning Dec. 1, the building will become Amazon’s second distribution center in New York City. The company announced that it expects to hire hundreds of workers, both full and part time, earning between $18 and $25 per hour.
“We are excited to continue our investment in New York to speed up delivery times for customers and provide great job opportunities for the talented workforce,” said Amanda Ip, an Amazon spokeswoman.
Following the announcement, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) took a stand against Amazon, calling it a “monopolistic mega-corporation” that has “destroyed local economies.”
“Amazon should be facing consequences for its clear violations of antitrust laws, not embraced with open arms into our borough,” said Kim. “They reached their super-monopoly status by controlling everything from the supply chain and marketplace down to even the retail space. As a borough that thrives on protecting our local economies and small businesses, we should not be so short-sighted; inviting in this Trojan Horse will only lead to a greater extraction of money and wealth from our communities. Simply put, for every one job they may create today in Queens, they will take away 10 jobs tomorrow through their extractive practices.”
Whether or not Amazon’s second headquarters will make Queens its home is still undetermined. However, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the company will announce its decision by the end of the year.