Amazon pullout could damage Long Island development prospects

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Economic officials on Long Island are worried that Amazon’s surprise decision to not build its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, will have a chilling effect on out-of-state businesses pursuing new development in the region, Newsday reported. “Some people will equate Long Island with having made this big mistake,” William Mannix, executive director of the Islip Town Industrial Development Agency, told the outlet. Mannix and other economic leaders in Nassau and Suffolk counties now want to pursue a more proactive response. “We need a regional marketing voice, a campaign to get the message out that Long Island is still open for business,” Mannix said. He believes government must partner with the business community to better communicate the benefits of mega-projects and the tax incentives often needed to lure them. Amazon’s decision, which has dismayed the real estate sector in New York City, is already having an impact on Long Island. Richard Kessel, chair of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, said the municipality may still grant tax breaks to a New Hyde Park housing project that would’ve been perfect for Amazon employees, but it will be more cautious about helping companies in the future. Officials pointed to a bill in the state legislature that could raise construction costs as another potentially damaging blow to New York’s reputation. The bill would force companies to pay the prevailing wage on projects funded by grants and tax breaks. [Newsday]