After 14 months of pitches, meetings and offers of incentives and name changes, Amazon announced on Tuesday that its second headquarters would be on two sites: one in Long Island City, Queens, and another in Arlington, Va. The company is also developing a smaller operations and logistics facility in Nashville.
Here are some details you might have missed in all the coverage:
Amazon brought Cuomo and De Blasio together
Company executives flew to New York just to establish that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio could put aside their longstanding differences.
Although the two have clashed on everything from the subway to handling deer, they were all smiles on Tuesday. “I know him so well, it’s just more open and verbal,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Whether it’s good or bad.”
The New York deal promises a helipad for Jeff Bezos
Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, will be able to come to work by flying over the East River — where kayakers now bob. Office buildings will rise and make room for 25,000 workers. How can this happen so fast? The state and city will bypass City Council, which has the power to block rezoning and land use measures.
New York’s leaders have also agreed to remake the Queens waterfront, move a distribution center for school lunches, and provide a package of $1.7 billion in incentives from the state and hundreds of millions more from the city.
Crystal City is an easy commute from one of Bezos’s homes
He already owns a huge home near the Arlington site — a former textile museum in the wealthy Kalorama neighborhood in Northwest Washington, D.C., just a few miles away. But he did not tour — and has not yet toured — that site or Queens. Company executives ran the selection process in both states.
Northern Virginia’s deal means a new name: National Landing
Amazon’s offices will spill over into parts of the Pentagon City neighborhood and Alexandria. Local officials rebranded the two-and-a-half-mile urban stretch, connected by three Metro subway stations along the Potomac, as a new neighborhood and called it National Landing.
It will rejuvenate a place filled with dated office buildings developed in the 1970s for military contractors. Some of that space has been sitting empty since the Pentagon reorganized after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The rebranding has already sparked conversation on social media.
Even Andrew Cuomo was ready to change his name
Mr. Cuomo said he was doing everything that he could to lure Amazon in.
“I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Because it would be a great economic boost.”
Amazon won’t be needing a sign in New York
It will take about one million square feet in the 50-story Citicorp building on Long Island City. There was debate over whether the company would replace the Citi logo, which is visible from Manhattan. But Amazon is not interested in a sign. Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for economic development, pointed out that the area is known as Anable Basin, “I’m guessing they’re going to call it Amazon Basin.”
A giant cactus was not a successful pitch
What do you give a man who is one of the world wealthiest people? Business leaders in Tucson tried to mail Mr. Bezos a 21-foot cactus. The plant was returned — it would have suffered in the Seattle rain anyway. The mayor of Frisco, Tex., offered the chance of getting a Jamba Juice and catching the “Frisco Flu.” Canada’s offering was just Canada.
New York and Virginia paid top dollar — perhaps too much
As noted above, New York promised Amazon at least $1.7 billion in incentives. Virginia promised incentives worth $573 million, including $550 million in cash grants.
Economists have long criticized tax incentives as inefficient and unnecessary measures that leave less money for education and public works. Altogether, the two locations offered more than $2 billion in tax credits, rebates and other incentives to Amazon.
Bryce Covert, a contributing opinion writer, also notes that the lucrative deals being given to Amazon may mean that other cities will expect similar treatment when they try to set up shop.
Amazon will be a neighbor to the nation’s largest housing project
In New York, the company will be a stone’s throw from Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing complex in the United States. The buildings are home to a mostly black and Hispanic population with a median household income well below the federal poverty level. Local residents have expressed worry that jobs at Amazon would not be open to them. Amazon has promised training and internship programs and to participate in job fairs at the housing complex.
New companies in Long Island City are already transforming the semi-industrial waterfront area and are drawing in moneyed professionals, raising concerns that more intense gentrification will drive up costs.