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Report: Amazon may take smaller bite of Big Apple

Amazon is reportedly still considering a significant real estate investment in New York.

According to the New York Post, Amazon is in talks to rent at least 100,000-sq.-ft. of office space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The e-tail giant is reportedly negotiating with the owners of the recently completed One Manhattan West tower and soon-to-be-completed Two Manhattan West tower, located a block away from Penn Station.

Amazon, which currently has 5,000 employees in New York City, had reportedly been considering Two Manhattan West in its failed effort to open a second headquarters (known as “HQ2”) in New York City. The e-tailer abandoned plans to build an HQ2 campus in the Long Island City section of Queens, New York, in February 2019.

Amazon had also planned to invest $2.5 billion into the Long Island City location, which would have covered about 4 million sq. ft. The New York location had an estimated incremental tax revenue of generating more than $10 billion over the next 20 years.

At the time, Amazon said it would continue adding to its base of more than 5,000 employees in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island. In March 2019, prominent New York City figures including the CEOs of several major financial firms and technology companies, as well as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Max Rose, and Hakeem Jeffries, publicly asked Amazon to reconsider its decision to cancel the planned headquarters in New York City. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also reportedly been in personal contact with top Amazon executives, including CEO/founder Jeff Bezos.

It is not clear whether Amazon is considering developing a full-scale HQ2 in New York, or simply expanding operations there. However, next month, Amazon plans on opening an HQ2 site in Crystal City, Virginia. The e-tailer is investing approximately $2.5 billion in the Northern Virginia office, which will be housed in a 4 million-sq.-ft. energy-efficient space, with the opportunity to expand to 8 million-sq.-ft. The Crystal City office has an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years. Average wages there will exceed $150,000.
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