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NYC, including LI, on Amazon’s list of finalists for HQ2

Amazon announced Thursday it has narrowed the potential

Amazon announced Thursday it has narrowed the potential sites for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

The metropolitan region, including Long Island, is among 20 finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, the online retailer announced Thursday.

The Seattle-based company launched a fierce competition for its HQ2 project, which promises to bring billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs to the winner.

Among the 20 finalists, the largest concentration is in the Northeast.

The bid from the New York area includes New York City, Long Island and Westchester County and was assembled by the state. It includes three local building sites: Belmont Park in Elmont, the proposed Heartland mini-city development in Brentwood and Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley, officials confirmed Thursday to Newsday.

Three other regions of the state made bids but are not among the finalists.

An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed that Long Island is part of the New York area that the retailer is considering for the HQ2 project.

Local officials said the Island would benefit even if HQ2 goes to the city or Westchester.

“Anywhere Amazon locates in the metropolitan area would be good for Long Islanders as it will present new employment options and business-to-business opportunities,” said Kevin Law, who as president of the Long Island Association business group coordinated the local response to the HQ2 contest.

Howard Zemsky, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic development czar, said Thursday that the metropolitan region’s “diverse workforce, unprecedented investments in . . . infrastructure and a vibrant 21st century economy” make it a strong contender against the other 19 finalists, including Newark, New Jersey; Toronto; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

Zemsky, in December, said the state incentives offered to Amazon would be the same regardless of where it locates. He also said the state would take the lead in working with local governments to assemble a “competitive package” that may include grants and tax breaks.

Last year, Amazon opened a warehouse in Bethpage to serve customers on Long Island and in New York City.

The online retailer, which sorted through 238 proposals to choose the 20 finalists, said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

The company’s announcement last fall that it was looking for a second home launched an intense competition among cities looking to lure a project that promises 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

Amazon had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

Long Island leaders expressed hope the HQ2 project will come here.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said the Amazon project would expand the countys tax base and create jobs. “We will continue to pursue the possibility,” she said.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone touted its “diverse, young and talented workforce.” He also said the county is “fully prepared to accommodate Amazon’s immediate and long-term aspirations.”

Brookhaven Town supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Calabro Airport and an adjacent Dowling College property offers more than 600 acres of open land, plus access to highways and ocean beaches. He said the town would offer 10 years of tax breaks to Amazon in addition to state aid.

Romaine said, “We are in it to win it.”

The list released on Thursday includes:


Austin, Texas



Columbus, Ohio




Los Angeles


Montgomery County, Maryland

Nashville, Tennessee


New York City

Northern Virginia



Raleigh, North Carolina

Toronto, Ontario

Washington D.C.

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