Stephen Ross on Amazon HQ2: “I don’t think New York has a chance”

Bill Rudin argues talent trumps cost

New York /
Nov.November 16, 2017 04:00 PM

From left: Jeff Bezos, Jeff Blau and Steve Ross

After Amazon announced its plans for a second headquarters, Related Companies approached the online retail giant with a simple pitch: “Wherever you go, we want to be your developer,” the company’s CEO Jeff Blau recalled at NYU Schack Institute’s annual conference on capital markets in real estate Thursday.

Blau doubts that place will be New York City. He cited Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago as his favorites to land Amazon. Related’s chair Stephen Ross, speaking on an earlier panel, was equally pessimistic. “I don’t think New York has a chance,” he said. “Other cities, it’s important to them and they’re offering incentives like you wouldn’t believe.”

MaryAnne Gilmartin, CEO of Forest City New York, agreed, citing New York’s high cost of living and office development.

“I think it’s very difficult to imagine based on the cost structure,” she said.

Bill Rudin, head of Rudin Management, was more optimistic, pointing to firms like insurer Aetna that decided to move here despite the costs.

“They could have gone to a lower-cost location but they weighed that versus the talent and the people and the community,” he said. The firm is leasing the entire office portion of Aurora Capital Associates and Vornado Realty Trust’s 61 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District.

Several cities have gone out of their way to offer incentives to Amazon. New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio arranged for the Empire State Building to glow in orange light in a nod to the company’s colors. A small Georgia town even went as far as offering to change its name to Amazon.

ICYMI in person, NYC lit up in “Amazon orange” last night to coincide with the City submitting its official bid for @Amazon’s second headquarters. Iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building and One World Trade, along with billboards and CityBridge’s LinkNYC screens, joined in as a show of support.⠀ ⠀ All photos here courtesy of @nycedc. To see more, check out our Facebook page. Link in bio! ⬆️⠀ ⠀ #NYC #nycgo #seeyourcity #thisisnewyorkcity #allarewelcome #welcomingtheworld #iloveny #lovenyc #citybestpics #city_explore #seemycity #citylimitless #ic_thecity #urbangathering #ig_captures_city #ignycity #igcapture_nyc #ig_great_shots_nyc #ig_photooftheday #igers #igersofnyc #weekly_feature #nycprimeshot #what_i_saw_in_nyc #

A post shared by NYCgo (@nycgo) on

RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler said that Amazon’s checklist of things it is looking for in a city, including affordable housing and access to functioning transit, should also be seen as a checklist for New York as it tries to stay competitive. “It’s a war for talent,” he said. “That’s what drives the 21st century economy.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
277 Fifth Avenue and Shokai Group's Shawn Xianyang Zhang (277 Fifth Avenue/Rafael Viñoly, Shokai Group)
Shokai Group picks up unsold NoMad condos for $81M
Shokai Group picks up unsold NoMad condos for $81M
Traffic was up 47.5 percent from last year, when coronavirus restrictions and concerns were more rampant. (iStock, Getty)
Black Friday retail traffic stuck below pre-pandemic levels
Black Friday retail traffic stuck below pre-pandemic levels
KPF's A. Eugene Kohn and 11 West 42nd Street (Google Maps, KPF)
KPF expands at Tishman Speyer building after sweetener
KPF expands at Tishman Speyer building after sweetener
Skylight Real Estate Partners founding partner Bennat Berger and 340 Old River Road in Edgewater (Google Maps, LinkedIn)
New firm pays $50M for Edgewater multifamily
New firm pays $50M for Edgewater multifamily
Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer, Turner Construction CEO Peter Davoren and The Spiral at 66 Hudson Boulevard (Getty, Turner Construction, Tishman Speyer)
Build it and we will come: Turner Construction moves HQ to Tishman Speyer’s Spiral
Build it and we will come: Turner Construction moves HQ to Tishman Speyer’s Spiral
Donald Trump (Getty)
Pandemic dashed one-quarter of Trump’s NYC retail tenants
Pandemic dashed one-quarter of Trump’s NYC retail tenants
NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...