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Offer from elected officials sinks, but private bid stays afloat

Bronx still in the Amazon HQ2 race

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While Amazon has not accepted any offers to locate its second headquarters in Bronx, another proposal has surfaced which may keep the Bronx in the game.

Meanwhile, New York City has submitted its own proposal to Amazon to consider four alternate sites, with two letters dated October 16, one from Mayor de Blasio and the other signed by 70 elected officials from all five boroughs.

Some 26 elected officials from the Bronx had signed on to a letter to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, on Friday, September 15, offering the Bronx as the site of its next headquarters.

“Amazon just answered they got the letter and thanks for sending it,” said John DeSio, director of communications for Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Companies from all over the world are taking a fresh look at the Bronx, and existing companies are expanding their presence in the borough, according to Diaz in the letter.

The other Bronx deal that’s still floating around was submitted by Simone Metro Properties, according to Joseph Kelleher, president.

“We have a development team that’s working on the Amazon project,” Kelleher said. “We haven’t been notified yet that we were not the selected site. As far as we’re concerned, we’re still in the running. We submitted a great proposal.”

Kelleher said that the Bronx, and particularly the Hutchinson Metro Center, would be one of the most efficient and desirable sites for any corporation, including Amazon.

“We have the capacity to build over 2 million square feet here of office space,” Kelleher said.

The Hutchinson Metro Center would be a great home for any company, but particularly Amazon would find it to be a wonderful location, according to Kelleher.

The site being proposed already has two existing former Bronx State Psychiatric buildings ready to be repurposed.

Hutchinson Metro Center has seen the creation of 7,500 new jobs, with 3,000 daily visitors, and almost 2 million square feet of office space here, according to Kelleher.

“We could certainly satisfy the needs of Amazon, as per the proposal we sent out,” Kelleher said.

Meanwhile, the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the city’s agency that promotes economic growth in the boroughs, submitted its Amazon HQ2 NYC Proposal that left the Bronx out altogether: Midtown West, Long Island City, Brooklyn Tech Triangle, and Lower Manhattan.

• Midtown West was promoted as the epicenter of the New York City region, according to the proposal, anchored by Penn Station, near Madison Square Garden, Chelsea art galleries and the High Line.

The potential at Midtown West is over 26 million square feet in a wide range on building types, including modern office towers and historic gems.

• Long Island City was promoted as a creative, mixed-use neighborhood and industrial innovation center, with over 150 restaurants, bars and cafes, 40 arts and cultural institutions, museums and theaters.

LIC offers over 13 million square feet of first-class real estate at comparable prices with commercial centers across the five boroughs.

• The Brooklyn Tech Triangle was promoted as an innovation hub with70 diverse arts and culture organizations, offering over 15 million square feet of space.

• Lower Manhattan was promoted as boasting over $30 billion in public and private investment, with an increase of tech, advertising, media, information and professional service firms. It also offers cultural institutions, performance centers and historic sites, surrounded by water on three sides, with 83 acres of open space and over 8.5 million square feet of office space.

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at bguiliano@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, October 27, 2017
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