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Brookhaven wants Amazon to build its second HQ at airport

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley, announced a plan for Amazon to build its second headquarters at the airport.  The $5 billion dollar project could bring up to 50,000 jobs to Long Island. (Credit: James Carbone)

Brookhaven is joining the nationwide contest to become Amazon’s second headquarters in North America.

Town officials have selected the Brookhaven Calabro Airport, which sits on 500 acres in Shirley, as a potential landing spot for the e-commerce giant.

Town officials will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the airport to provide more details.

Amazon has said the selected headquarters will bring 50,000 jobs and invest $5 billion in the local community.

Brookhaven faces stiff competition as dozens of cities across the country — from Chicago to Dallas to San Diego — have already thrown their names in the mix. Several other New York municipalities will be vying as well.

Suffolk and Nassau County officials plan to hold a separate news conference at noon Thursday at the Long Island Association in Melville to disclose potential sites for Amazon.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Wednesday that Calabro Airport is appealing because the land has already been cleared and another 108 acres next door at the shuttered Dowling College could bring additional space.

“Amazon wants a campus-style facility,” the supervisor said.

Romaine said the Shirley site meets most of the checklist the Seattle-based company wants, including accessibility and proximity to an expressway and a scientific institution, in this case, the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“Do we sit back or do we act?,” Romaine said. “We think we will be a very strong contender.”

Empire State Development, New York’s primary business agency, will accept proposals from several municipalities and submit the best one to Amazon.

The municipality that is chosen also must be within 45 minutes of an international airport, have preferred flights to Seattle, where Amazon’s current headquarters is located, and be near a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million people.

It also must have a stable business-friendly environment and be a location that attracts and retains strong technical talent and has communities that think big and are creative.

“Attracting Amazon to Long Island would spur extraordinary economic growth for our region, and the Calabro Airport site is an intriguing opportunity for the new headquarters,” LIA president and CEO Kevin Law said in a statement.

The application deadline is Oct. 19. The site will be announced in 2018.

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