Long Island City could be the new home for (half of) Amazon’s HQ2

Technology giant reportedly planning to split new headquarters between LIC and Arlington, Virginia

Jeff Bezos and Long Island City (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
Jeff Bezos and Long Island City (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Amazon is nearing a deal that could make the rapidly growing Queens neighborhood of Long Island City home to half of its second headquarters.

The company is planning to split its ballyhooed HQ2 between Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia, according to the New York Times. Together, they would house up to 50,000 employees.

The city announced last week that it would spend $180 million to improve transit and sewage in Long Island City, and it now looks like that announcement may have been deliberately timed given the Amazon news.

If Amazon does officially name Queens as a location for its next headquarters, the move could help New York establish itself as a technology hub. However, some residents are already concerned that that the number of newcomers could put too much strain on the neighborhood.

Officials from the city toured the neighborhood with Amazon executives three times in April, July and September. The visits included a tour of the neighborhood on Citi Bikes and a sunset ride on one of the new ferries.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio separately met with Amazon executives in late October, but both declined to comment to the Times.

Amazon narrowed down its initial list of cities for HQ2 to 20 in January, and recent reports indicated that it had further narrowed down its choices to Virginia, Dallas and New York.

Although New York was always seen as a contender for Amazon’s second headquarters, some were concerned that its expensive housing market would stand in the way. [NYT]Eddie Small