Amazon scraps 400K sf Jersey City office deal

E-commerce giant was eyeing Mack-Cali Realty’s Harborside 1

Jeff Bezos and the Jersey City office property (LoopNet, Getty)
Jeff Bezos and the Jersey City office property (LoopNet, Getty)

Two weeks after Amazon was reported to be close to a deal to lease 400,000 square feet in Jersey City, the e-commerce giant is bailing on its plans altogether.

Amazon walked away from a deal at Mack-Cali Realty’s Harborside 1 at the last minute, according to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter. The outlet previously reported the company was eyeing the massive office space at 150 Hudson Street, an eight-story property on the New Jersey waterfront.

Harborside 1 appeared to be a compelling place for a new tenant after the developer completed more than $100 million in renovations to Harborside’s 4.3 million-square-foot campus. Improvements to Harborside 1 included a new facade, a new lobby and terrace views of both Manhattan and the Hudson River.

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This is Amazon’s second missed connection with Jersey City. The New Jersey metro was a contender in the competition for Amazon’s HQ2, even offering up to $5 billion in economic incentives. Instead, the company chose to split HQ2 between Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia.

In Queens, grassroots organizations attacked the $3 billion in city and tax incentives Amazon was set to receive for its campus. After the backlash, Amazon in February 2019 officially backed out of its LIC plans on Valentine’s Day 2019.

The tech giant made inroads elsewhere in the city. In December 2019, the company signed a lease for 335,000 square feet of office space with SL Green near Hudson Yards at 410 Tenth Avenue. In March 2020, Amazon bought the 660,000-square-foot Lord & Taylor building from WeWork for $1.15 billion, or about $2,000 per square foot.

Amazon’s potential Jersey City office plan came at a difficult time for the state’s office market. According to Avison Young, the 19 percent availability rate of the third quarter was the highest since 2005, Bloomberg reports.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner