Technology giant introduces HQ plan
SEE ALSO :Hidden meanings in company logosGoldman said she has a lot of admiration for the company and its new services. But Barbara Vetter, a longtime Virginia resident and government employee, was skeptical. "I know it's got a lot of positives, but with the increased traffic and already high cost of living, it's hard to be optimistic," she said outside a local Starbucks. "The cost of living jump is going to be a huge detriment for those not working for Amazon." In New York, a similar storyline was playing out in a section of the city in the midst of transformation from its industrial past.
SEE ALSO :Apple's rivals in streaming video"The place changed so much in the last 10 years, it's just going to be some part of the neighborhood," said Mike Barratt, a store manager at Spokesman Cycles in Long Island City who fretted over families' ability to deal with higher housing costs. "A lot of people don't own but they've been living here renting for 15, 20 years, and they're getting priced out," said Barratt. "They're upset." Dozens of luxury high-rise buildings, suitable for senior Amazon executives, had been in the planning well before the company came on the scene, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of the real-estate firm Miller Samuel. Amazon's arrival could end up "essentially bailing out developers that went ahead despite the excess supply," he said. - Rallying the opposition -
SEE ALSO :Amazon boss in record-breaking divorceNew York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens, was rallying opponents to the Amazon deal, claiming city and state officials offered too much in tax incentives. "Our subways are crumbling, out children lack school seats, and too many of our neighbors lack adequate health care," Van Bramer and state Senator Michael Gianaris said in a statement. "We are witness to a cynical game in which Amazon duped New York into offering unprecedented amounts of tax dollars to one of the wealthiest companies on Earth." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, elected to Congress from a district that includes part of Queens, also voiced concern about offering big tax breaks to Amazon. "We need to focus on good healthcare, living wages, affordable rent. Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism," she said on Twitter. Officials in both Virginia and New York sought to point out that the tax benefits for Amazon were tied to job creation, and that they expected government coffers to see a positive return from Amazon's investments. Amazon will get "performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion" over the next decade based on creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City, according to the company. Virginia is offering more than $500 million with similar restrictions, and will also spend some $200 million in infrastructure improvements including in mass transit, as well as create a new campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute on the site. "Our investments are in our people and our infrastructure," Governor Ralph Northam said.
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