Lion of the Blogosphere

Lion was right about Amazon HQ2, always believe the Lion

Back in February, I wrote about Amazon’s HQ2 debacle:

Notice that there’s no backup plan announced. Bezos isn’t going to abandon New York City for Las Vegas or Omaha. Nope, it appears that he’s just going to move into New York City anyway, but quietly, without the tax breaks, and without the big splashy showmanship of building a huge Amazon campus in Long Island City. So the liberal protesters were right, De Blasio and Cuomo didn’t actually need to suck Bezos’ **** in order to lure him here.

Commenters disagreed.

Brendan wrote:

He’s still going to NY? News to me.

gothamette wrote:

I’m sorry but I’m as lost as others are about the still staying in NYC part. Where’d you get that from?

Well of course I was right.

Reported today by the NY Post:

After walking away from a deal to build a headquarters on the Queens waterfront in Long Island City, Amazon is back to shopping for office space on Manhattan’s West Side, sources tell The Post.

The tech giant has been in talks with owners of two shiny new skyscrapers located just one block west of Penn Station — the newly built One Manhattan West and its soon-to-be sister project, Two Manhattan West, sources tell The Post.

The online retailer is seeking “at least 100,000 square feet or much more” — just to start, one well-placed source said.

So it’s just like I said. Amazon is going to come here anyway, even without De Blasio and Cuomo sucking Bezos’ ****.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 29, 2019 at 9:31 AM

Posted in Business, New York City

56 Responses

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  1. There is no indication that this is a HQ. According to the article, Amazon already has 5000 workers in NYC and so that amount of space comes to just 50 square feet per existing Amazon worker. 250,000 square feet may seem like a lot, but it isn’t for a company like Amazon.

    Amazon had been talking about a HQ for 25,000 workers. For that you would need something like 6 *MILLION* square feet at around 250 square feet (including hallways, conference rooms etc) per worker.

    Dan

    May 29, 2019 at 9:52 AM

    • Thanks for the math. Maybe they just can’t find a single 6 million sqft piece of real estate that they can buy quietly, so now they are trying to do it piecemeal. I think the point stands that there’s no noise or movement with regard to putting HQ2 in any of the other cities that were supposedly in the running before the NYC deal was announced and went sour.

      I feel confident that NYC was always meant to be the winner, and the contest only existed to generate free publicity and tax breaks. I think we can quibble the details, but I’m not aware of anything which indicates that Lion was directionally wrong.

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      May 29, 2019 at 10:50 AM

      • “I feel confident that NYC was always meant to be the winner, and the contest only existed to generate free publicity and tax breaks. I think we can quibble the details, but I’m not aware of anything which indicates that Lion was directionally wrong.”

        Thank you.

      • yeah, lion was right. And maybe this is just the beginning of a stealth take over. It’s not quite in the category of the Big splash HQ, but there’s no reason they can’t keep infiltrating.

        It’s not that far from Hudson yards by the way.

        gothamette

        May 29, 2019 at 4:51 PM

      • Manhattan West is across the street (10th Avenue) from Hudson Yards.

      • Excellent sell signal on Amazon. Them boys from Arkansas gonna eat their lunch.

        Expensive office space expansion has repeatedly been a top indicator, like the sky-scraper index. Apple moved into their super expensive HQ just as it started becoming clear the salad days were over.

        A low margin retail business lusting for Manhattan real estate is clearly going off the rails.

        bobbybobbob

        May 29, 2019 at 9:56 PM

      • “Excellent sell signal on Amazon. Them boys from Arkansas gonna eat their lunch.”

        You mean Walmart?

        gothamette

        May 30, 2019 at 11:53 AM

  2. If you own a major news outlet don’t you expect to get your dick ***** ed by pols? Isn’t that the reason for purchasing the thing? I wonder what the price of the Post is vs the hoped for tax breaks?

    Curle

    May 29, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    • Bezos bought WaPo so that he could bash the GOP. He knew that as long as he bashed people the Dems don’t like that they’d protect him from pesky little things like taxes and anti-trust regulations.
      ***

      I can’t believe someone didn’t mention that his idiot ex-wife just signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ to give her money to charity. I’m asking people to sign the ‘LotB Pledge’ to never donate to charity unless it’s to provide free abortions for poor women.

      https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900072742/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-mackenzie-bezos-net-worth-charity.html

      destructure

      May 29, 2019 at 9:45 PM

  3. Yes, he’s still sniffing around NY, but not in her district. That’s his way of saving face. Setting up shop in a red state was never a realistic option in my opinion.

    Brendan

    May 29, 2019 at 10:05 AM

    • One of the comments from the ny curbed article which would suggest your loser red states and how proles are marching themselves to a death path:

      “Oh look, they didn’t need tax breaks after all.

      I do think that it’s interesting that brand-name cities like San Francisco and New York are so valuable and important to brand-name companies that they would rather set up shop here without any tax breaks than in a second- or third-tier city with tax breaks aplenty. This illustrates the challenge many of these other U.S. cities will continue to face in rebuilding their economies and attracting talent and that they will have to focus on fundamentals like civil rights, good governance, nutrition and healthcare, infrastructure and public transportation, and public safety before giving away their coffers in a halfhearted effort to woo development. Without cooperation though cities like New York will continue to face a housing crisis as all the jobs end up relocating here”

      https://ny.curbed.com/2019/5/28/18642332/amazon-new-york-office-manhattan-west

      Although I have to say NYC doesn’t have good governance, it’s really Manhattan that matters, which is gradually purging all of its undesirables to far and from away.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 29, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      • ” it’s really Manhattan that matters, which is gradually purging all of its undesirables to far and from away.”

        Actually, the neighborhood around the “Manhattan West” project is full of disgusting homeless, beggars, hobos, and bums.

      • That’s not an issue. They aren’t sedentary and permanent in the neighborhood. Once the work is done, they will be removed from the premise.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 29, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      • “Actually, the neighborhood around the “Manhattan West” project is full of disgusting homeless, beggars, hobos, and bums.”

        It’s not that bad. It’s not gorgeous, but it’s not that bad.

        gothamette

        May 29, 2019 at 4:53 PM

      • It’s pretty bad.

      • You live a sheltered life.

        gothamette

        May 29, 2019 at 11:47 PM

      • Once the Hudson Yards will be in full swing, expect the NYPD to sweep these urine leakers away from the premise.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 29, 2019 at 7:13 PM

      • Manhattan was a dump the last time I visited. Even tourist areas were bad. The mayor let the city massively decline. I say this as someone who visited New York in its golden age during the Giuliani/Bloomberg era.

        redarmyvodka

        May 30, 2019 at 5:01 AM

      • Just imagine how well all of those red states would develop if it was illegal for Amazon to sell its items in those states. Items would be provided locally with local employment instead of through government-subsidized entities like Amazon. Maybe a whole new set of online retail taxes are needed.

        Just imagine how much better off the red states would be if Disney and Netflix were not allowed to show their filth in their states. Maybe a whole new set of entertainment taxes is needed. This would be a nice echo of Bob Iger’s call against abortion. Ban Disney’s charter to operate in those states.

        I wonder if Bob Iger would shut down Disney World if Florida past an abortion law like in Georgia?

        What a wonderful nation it would be if Amazon and Disney could only sell their products in New York and California.

        map

        May 30, 2019 at 5:43 PM

      • “I wonder if Bob Iger would shut down Disney World if Florida past an abortion law like in Georgia?”

        THAT is a question I would love for some journalist to ask Iger or at least the Disney PR department. Of course, we live in an age without real journalists so I guess we’ll never know.

        Mike Street Station

        June 1, 2019 at 7:37 AM

      • His likely response: “We employ 40,000 women in Central Florida. As much as we would deplore a Florida law that burden’s a woman’s constitutional right of choice, we wouldn’t make it even worse for all of the women who work for us by terminating their jobs.”

      • I suppose we shouldn’t hold our breath for ‘Abortion Survivor Day’ or Gosnell’s Clinic ride at Disneyland?

        Curles

        June 1, 2019 at 11:54 AM

  4. Maybe he or his advisors were reading your blog, getting the clue that Manhattan is the only place that matters in Meriprolestan, in an age of post scarcity and value transference.

    Sunny California is just a resort with a lot of dysfunctionalism. Manhattan is the real deal.

    Furthermore, there aren’t those pesky NAMs to give Amazon a hard time in Midtown West such as those in Long Island City. Another advice taken from you, that it’s best to avoid proles and NAMs.

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    May 29, 2019 at 10:11 AM

  5. Amazon has been planning to build a 4 million square foot campus in Long Island City, so the square footage being bandied about now (250,000 SF) is only 6% of that amount.

    https://ny.curbed.com/2019/5/28/18642332/amazon-new-york-office-manhattan-west

    Dan

    May 29, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    • So? Once they fill the 250,000 square feet, they’ll look for more office space.

      • I seem to recall reading that the they were planning to move some people but not make it an alternative headquarters. I suppose it might become one yet.

        I can certainly see why he’d want go to New York. He’d have a hard time hiring a lot of tech people in Las Vegas (maybe I insult Las Vegas incorrectly, I’ve never been there.)

        Frau Katze

        May 30, 2019 at 12:56 AM

      • I’m not sure how many of those people AMZN is looking to hire are tech people; I suspect a lot are marketing people, for whom NYC is much more of a Mecca.

        It’s tough to draw ambitious young people to an unexciting place. The thing about ambitious young people though is that they tend to leave a megacorp like AMZN after a few years, taking their experiences with them to launch a startup or go into consulting. But you can still potentially get a lot of work out of that steady stream of ambitious young people, if they happen to be drawn to your company.

        So if you’re in an unexciting place, you mainly need to work with locals who aren’t prepared to leave. Or people a little later in their careers who are looking to leave places like NYC. The good thing about this is that if you’re one of the best employers in town, you’ll draw all the best local talent and also have a very loyal, low turnover workforce. It’s much harder to minimize turnover in Silicon Valley or NYC.

        Wency

        May 30, 2019 at 9:38 AM

      • “I’m not sure how many of those people AMZN is looking to hire are tech people; I suspect a lot are marketing people, for whom NYC is much more of a Mecca”

        By far, NYC attracts mid-tier parasitic types who qualify for prolish parasitic roles like marketing (White, female and attractive), and sales (White, male and a smooth talking frat type). Other groups need not apply in NYC, unless they are Ivy Educated embarking on a professional role like BIG LAW or Wall St finance.

        This is where Lion makes his flaw that Amazon will be hiring the “other groups” as priority in NYC.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 30, 2019 at 11:32 AM

      • I never wrote anything about who Amazon is going to hire. They are probably NOT moving core development groups here, but they could be doing dev for new projects, plus of course sales and marketing.

      • Frau,

        “I can certainly see why he’d want go to New York. He’d have a hard time hiring a lot of tech people in Las Vegas (maybe I insult Las Vegas incorrectly, I’ve never been there.)”

        Moving to New York is not driven by economics. It’s driven by executives who want the amenities of a big city. If they can get it with tax breaks, then they would. But, otherwise, they would not care.

        map

        May 30, 2019 at 5:46 PM

      • But you can play Texas Hold’em poker in Vegas!

  6. There is plenty of empty industrial space in the Bronx as well, right off the FDR, and minutes from Manhattan. A single 50 story building provides approx. 600,000 square feet of usable space, so, a couple buildings on the West side, and then a larger facility 10 minutes away in the Bronx.

    DaveNYC

    May 29, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    • The outer boroughs are riddled with NAMs, especially with the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 29, 2019 at 11:14 AM

      • And those NAM’s will be pushed out of the way as they have been in every other part of the city over the last 20 years.
        Developers have been scouting the Bronx for several years, they just need someone big enough to make the first move.

        DaveNYC

        May 29, 2019 at 2:57 PM

      • You might be correct, but so far, the Bronx and other areas in the outer boroughs have remained a NAM stronghold for quite some time.

        Washington Heights which has seen gentrification, has yet to metastasized into Manhattan proper.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 29, 2019 at 6:35 PM

    • What about 10th and 11th avenues?

      gothamette

      May 29, 2019 at 4:55 PM

      • Manhattan has a remnant of NAMville in certain sections. But these areas are increasingly Hispanic NAM and less of black NAM. The Bronx is a toxic NAM cesspool wasteland, and blacks are still a major demographic.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 29, 2019 at 10:17 PM

      • Actually the Bronx is now 53% Hispanic.

        gothamette

        May 29, 2019 at 11:47 PM

  7. DeBlasio and Cuomo are not as stupid as you guys think. Even I could tell you that Bezos would rather be in NYC without tax breaks than go to some Southern red state s***hole with every tax break in the world.

    NYC is so economically and culturally important, they can afford to play hardball and corporations will still come. Plus, NYC has more brainpower than some s***hole city in the South.

    SC

    May 29, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    • NYC is also a gateway to important, but more cultural and intellectual oriented, international cities like Montréal, Madrid, Paris and Berlin to name a few. If American elites would ever want to abandon or jump ship from Meriprolestan, Manhattan offers the quickest and most efficient route of escape.

      The West Coast is just a place for wonder bread Whites who brand themselves as 2nd tier SWPLs where they get into a problems with the large Eastern Asiatic demographic. Thanks, but no thanks!

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 29, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      • Puh-lease. The core advancements of human civilization, namely semiconductor electronics and digital signal processing, have been led by the Left Coast over the last century. No one here cares to mention the self-evident American meritocratic re-balancing because our lives are not intensely oriented toward social class (at least the South Bay isn’t). Apparently this is an East Coast megalopolitan myopic disorder from living in societies under decades of bureaucratic innovation.

        But I agree the elites will flee to Manhattan to relish in their parasitic paradise.

        A Dilettante

        May 29, 2019 at 9:12 PM

      • Why do you refute me then?

        Of course, there are several areas in the Northeast that are de-facto symbols of parasitic elitism that feeds on the achievements of the tech proles on the West Coast.

        For anyone who reads this blog, greater Meriprolestan is a bland, soul crushing place to live. Manhattan isn’t all that great either, but it’s the best we have when it comes to cosmopolitanism.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 30, 2019 at 9:47 AM

      • “Puh-lease. The core advancements of human civilization, namely semiconductor electronics and digital signal processing, have been led by the Left Coast over the last century.”

        Hahahahahah.

        The semi-conductor industry was built by Midwestern farm boys, guys like Robert Noyce. The modern semi-conductor industry in Silicon Valley is just a marketing operation importing Chinese chunk and branding it as high-tech.

        map

        May 30, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      • Venture capital, the succor of semiconductor technology, is the antithesis of Midwestern.

        A Dilettante

        May 31, 2019 at 11:22 PM

    • I agree that tax breaks are a massive scam all the data on them points to little to no gain in terms of jobs, industry, development, and success. That’s not to say tax cuts aren’t important for other reasons but tax breaks in this context are worthless.

      However Las Vegas is growing as an economic hub, entertainment center, vacation destination, and showbusiness juggernaut whose name/prestige is almost on par with New York. I’m definitely bullish on cities like Las Vegas. States like Texas much less so but Florida unlike the rest of the south is strong. Demographics are killing New York even the rich and powerful can’t keep a Bill de Blasio out of city hall forever.

      redarmyvodka

      May 30, 2019 at 5:20 AM

      • Tax breaks need to be supply side tax cuts that increase the returns to capital expenditure. Demand-side tax breaks that merely provide for increases in consumption or target some minor expenditure do not work.

        It’s the difference between Trump’s capital gains tax cut and Bush’s $300 cash handout before he pushed the substantial tax cuts in 2004.

        map

        May 30, 2019 at 6:34 PM

  8. Anyone with a brain, especially one like Lion’s, could have told you the moment Amazon announced its HQ2’s search that the whole thing was a sham. By that I mean, the officially announced criteria for the selection process was BS. Bezos is the richest man in the world (or thereabouts) and is not looking to move to Nashville, Denver or Austin–all of which are really neat cities BTW–to save a few bucks.

    He’s looking to be a BIG MAN in the US and around the world. That is, a man of influence, power, prestige, etc. He bought the Washington Post for a reason. Amazon’s streaming service and its power in the US/worldwide entertainment industry is super huge already. He thinks he can be bigger, more influential than Gates, Buffet or Bloomberg. The optimal place in the US to do this is the US east coast. Basically, New York (i.e. money, art, media, culture) and Washington (political power)–and it looks like he will have both. Plus, he’ll have Hollywood in his back pocket, but who would really wants to live there–no one with Bezos’ level of ambition. Also, that divorce thing will allow him to fully realize certain other ambitions…

    A similar case of Big Man syndrome is at Ken Griffin, the hedge fund billionaire. Officially based in Chicago with Citadel but he is recently divorced and has been on a super high-end real estate buying spree around the world. He tried to build Citadel into some sort of Goldman Sachs/Bridgewater super finance entity, but it didn’t turn out that way. Doubt he will take things to Bezos’ level though.

    Sam Lowry

    May 29, 2019 at 3:48 PM

    • I recently planned a trip to the Tennessee and North Carolina area, only to discover that I’m will be wasting my money touring very prole areas. Just speaking to the visitor’s centers in their respective cities and listening to the folks with their slow southern drawl was too parochial for my tastes.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 29, 2019 at 6:59 PM

    • Sam, what are you thoughts on the types of cars purchased by the super rich?

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      May 30, 2019 at 1:29 PM

      • Sam Walton’s Truck.

        Curle

        May 30, 2019 at 10:45 PM

  9. The Google Maps satellite view in the link below shows what *real* jobs creation looks like. It’s the enormous Mercedes assembly plant in Alabama, and if it’s hard to tell just how big it is take note of how minuscule the truck trailers and rail cars are by comparison. The plant employs 4,000 people at an average salary of $50,000 per year.
    Imagine NYC having the foresight to attract something of this magnitude? Of course not, because it never will happen.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@33.1812485,-87.2607659,2416m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    May 29, 2019 at 11:07 PM

    • Why would parasitic elites in NYC want to setup a dirty chicken coop or meat slaughterhouse in their own backyards? You leave that to the proles who live somewhere else..

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 30, 2019 at 9:53 AM

      • So we can get rid of the dirty elites isolated in their Megaplexes and it will have no effect on the existence of Mercedes-Benz plants, chicken coops and slaughterhouses?

        Good to know.

        map

        May 30, 2019 at 6:40 PM

  10. Just out of curiosity, for the relatively short history of multistory buildings that are both residential and office or retail, what’s it like to live or work there? I’m not talking about classic 19th century tenements with stores on the ground floor and apartments above, I mean early 20th century CBD office buildings that have been recently retrofitted or renovated for residential, while also still having some office space. I assume they have no entrances or elevators that are shared by the residents and office workers but I could be wrong. And if they have mandated “affordable” housing, how does that work? Could there conceivably be a building where “young go-getting startups in the information economy” are sharing a building with section 8 types who live there? That would make a great sitcom.

    Yuks

    May 30, 2019 at 10:16 PM

    • I would watch that show.

      Mike Street Station

      June 1, 2019 at 7:45 AM

      • Not exactly the same thing, but back in the day Renzo Gracie’s New York City location shared a building with a methadone clinic. People who trained there kept expecting to have to fight a junkie, but to my knowledge, it never happened.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        June 3, 2019 at 12:36 PM


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