Passions run high at combative City Council Amazon hearing

Pols had several criticisms about plan to bring tech giant to NYC

TRD New York /
Dec.December 12, 2018 05:30 PM

Jeff Bezos and Corey Johnson (Credit: Getty Images)

The City Council had harsh criticisms for Amazon and the Economic Development Corporation during a contentious hearing on Wednesday about the tech giant’s move to Long Island City.

One of the strongest points of contention was a benefit that the plastics company Plaxall will receive for one of its sites near the proposed campus, according to Crain’s. Plaxall owns two sites that would be part of the Amazon campus, and a third property that it owns between 46th Avenue and 46th Road is also part of the headquarters plan for unclear reasons.

Plaxall would like to build either a roughly 500,000-square-foot residential building or an 800,000-square-foot office tower on the site, and it would not have to go through the ULURP process as part of the current development plan, as The Real Deal previously reported. Jimmy Van Bramer, the council member who represents Long Island City, told EDC president James Patchett he should be “ashamed” for that part of the deal.

“We’re not ashamed of this,” Patchett replied, according to Crain’s. “We’re proud to be here.”

New York decided to use a state-controlled process to bring Amazon to Long Island City, which has sparked much frustration on the City Council. It has been used for past projects including Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Times Square’s redevelopment starting in the 1990s.

Amazon representatives defended the plan at the hearing as the best way for the company to build its project quickly and start hiring workers. The tech giant says it will create up to 40,000 jobs with its move to New York that pay an average of $150,000 per year. [Crain’s] – Eddie Small

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