Amazon is facing protests in New York City.AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
- New Yorkers protested Amazon’s HQ2 move to Long Island City on Monday, storming an Amazon Books store in Manhattan.
- Amazon’s announcement earlier in November that it would open part of its second headquarters in New York City has been met with criticism from many New Yorkers.
- Here are eight reasons why New Yorkers are not excited about HQ2.
Protesters are storming one of Amazon’s stores in New York City as anger and criticism regarding HQ2 spills over.
On Monday, an Amazon Books store in Manhattan was flooded with protesters railing against the decision to open part of the company’s second headquarters in Queens, New York.
Amazon announced earlier this month that it would open offices with up to 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. And, while politicians have celebrated the move, many New Yorkers have responded with concern and criticism.
Armed with signs and “F— Off Amazon!: A Black Friday Action Songbook,” protesters took action to highlight their concerns on Monday. Songs and chants include “DeBlasio the Neoliberal Mayor,” sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “The Bezos Song,” with lyrics like “Bezos, Bezos, Bezos!/Your heart is made of clay/But all our politicians/Line up to be your bae.”
Here’s a scene from the store, from WABC-TV’s Dave Evans:
And, another video from PIX11 News’ Cristian Benavides:
Why are New Yorkers up in arms about Amazon opening offices in Long Island City?
Critics have a long list of reasons. Here are eight:
New York City offered Amazon $1.5 billion in tax incentives.
Ted S. Warren / AP Images
“If Amazon keeps up its end of the bargain by creating 25,000 jobs, it is eligible to receive direct incentives of $1.525 billion,” Mary Hanbury reports. “These are rebates on tax paid on employees salaries and reimbursements for building the new offices.”
Not everyone is thrilled that a multibillion-dollar company is being offered more than a billion dollars in subsidies.
“Amazon is a billion-dollar company,” Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted. “The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.”
Read more: New York City has lured Amazon with more than $1.5 billion in incentives — here’s what else they agreed to
Rents are set to skyrocket.
“An analysis conducted by Zillow in April found that if the new campus were built entirely in New York, then annual rents in the area could be as much as $204 higher than Zillow’s estimates for rents without the new offices,” reports Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson.
While splitting the headquarters may decrease the costs, people are already on the hunt for real estate in Long Island City following Amazon’s announcement. According to The Wall Street Journal, one brokerage firm sold 150 units in four days — 15 times its usual volume — the week that Amazon announced plans to open a headquarters in Long Island City.
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on Monday’s protests or critiques of its impact on New York City rents.
Read more: Amazon employees are reportedly already buying up apartments in New York City — and they started before the company even announced HQ2
Local businesses could struggle.
Amazon’s growth in Seattle hasn’t necessarily been good news for local businesses, many of which have closed to make way for companies more closely attuned to the company’s wealthier, white-collar worker.
“Amazon’s presence has fundamentally changed the city, according to Cynthia Brothers, a 36-year-old Seattle native,” reports Business Insider’s Leanna Garfield. “In recent years, she has noticed that coffee shops, grocers, restaurants, and bars beloved by locals are increasingly shutting down to make way for upscale redevelopments.”
Read more: Photos show how Seattle’s favorite businesses vanished after Amazon showed up — and it could be an omen for the HQ2 city