Lichtenstein on Amazon expiration: "Worst day for NYC since 9-11"
Developer lambaster politicians who stymied deal for megacomplex
Lightstone Group David Lichtenstein said Friday that the Amazon about -face on its megacomplex in New York was the "worst day for NYC since 9-11."
"Apart from this time, the terrorists were chosen," the developer added in an email to The Real Deal in a dig for politicians, who severely criticized the tech giant's deal with the city for the nearly $ 3 billion in tax cuts and public incentives it came with. On Thursday, Amazon highlighted pressures from local politicians as a reason to give up the Long Island City campus deal to bring 25,000 new jobs to New York and create some $ 27bn. Dollars in tax revenue over a decade.
Since November, Amazon has been severely hit by elected officials, activists, and association leaders who criticized the secretive nature of the negotiations between the company and the city and the state, claiming that the world's most valuable company did not need to be cajoled with tax crimes. to get to New York.
Among the most vocal critics of the agreement: State Secretary Michael Gianaris of Queens, who was named a board that had veto over the plan; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose congressional district borders one where the complex would rise; and managers from Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
"A number of state and local politicians have made clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the kind of relationships to be continued," said Amazon in a statement on Thursday explaining his decision to Drop plans.
Lightstone is a major developer with a $ 3 billion portfolio across New York, Miami and Los Angeles, and in Long Island City, Lightstone owns a 428-unit rental home less than two miles from where Amazon's campus would rise. 19659005] Lichtenstein is among several industrial characters who have addressed losing out on the Amazon campus, as real estate industry felt would be a big boost for both residential and commercial markets. "The future of the neighborhood will still happen," said Robert Whalen, Halsteads director of leasing in Long Island City, "but Amazon could have accelerated the process." Dave Maundrell of Citi Habitats said that without Amazon, we are back to where we were six The market will go down again. "
Kathryn Wylde, who leads the New York City program partnership, said" we were successfully competing, making an appointment, and spending the last three months busting our new partner. "Seth Pinsky from RXR Realty echoes his feelings and tells the Wall Street Journal that" for some of the people who opposed the project, it was kind of a game. "
" They enjoyed being the center of attention and having their statements tweeted and retweeted, "added pinsky" But this is not a game. "
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Ocasio-Cortez & # 39; s district It borders on one where Amazon's campus was set up.