A glance at this week’s news proves that the time is now for the city to invest in Queens as businesses—big and small—are eyeing real estate in the borough.
Sunnyside Yard is among the spots that Amazon is considering for a second headquarters known as Amazon HQ2 that would include up to eight million square feet and provide as many as 50,000 jobs, many of which would offer a salary of more than $100,000.
Kansas-based Alphapointe—a nonprofit that aids in the education and employment of blind people—announced that it will soon move out of its current location in Brooklyn to a new spot in Richmond Hill. That company employs approximately 200 people and its president said that it intends to hire more once it has relocated. And on Wednesday, Flushing banquet hall Terrace on the Park announced that it would undergo a $9 million redesign. In other words, business is booming in Queens and the city should take note.
Amazon—which has already revealed plans for a new administrative office in Manhattan and a warehouse in Staten Island—has been offered performance-based tax credits through the Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Program to encourage the company’s expansion in New York. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he doesn’t intend to offer Amazon economic subsidies to locate its new headquarters in the five boroughs. Perhaps the mayor should reconsider his stance.
This renewed interest in our borough drives home some of the messages that have been reiterated during this election season by candidates in Queens—the borough needs more jobs, but it also requires better transportation and upgraded infrastructure to lure the companies that will provide new employment. It is exciting that companies are looking to relocate to Queens. The city should continue to make the necessary improvements to ensure that the borough is a desirable place to set up shop.