We walked around Long Island City, the New York neighbourhood where Amazon is planning to bring HQ2, and saw why it'd be appealing to the e-commerce giant

Business Insider/Jessica TylerLong Island City is home to the headquarters of several other corporations, including JetBlue.
  • Amazon is developing its second headquarters, HQ2, in two separate locations: the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, the company announced on Tuesday.
  • New York’s pitch of Long Island City to Amazon included boasts about “a creative, mixed-use neighbourhood,” more than 13 million square feet of real estate, and speedy commute times.
  • We took a walk around Long Island City and saw why it would be appealing to Amazon.

Amazon will bring its second headquarters, HQ2, to two separate locations: the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, the company announced on Tuesday.

The two locations will house 25,000 employees each, instead of the 50,000 that was originally planned for HQ2.

The decision follows more than a year of speculation and lobbying by communities around the United States and Canada.

There had been less speculation about New York City than Northern Virginia, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently made his desire to host Amazon clear.

“I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” Cuomo told reporters on November 5. “Because it would be a great economic boost.”

Long Island City’s proposal to Amazon included boasts about “a creative, mixed-use neighbourhood,” more than 13 million square feet of real estate, and speedy commute times.

Here’s what Long Island City is like:


Long Island City is a neighbourhood in Queens and is most easily accessible by the 7, N, W, and G subway trains. Some locals have expressed concerns that bringing an additional 25,000 workers to the area would overload an already crowded system.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Source: Business Insider


There are also a lot of Citi Bikes throughout the neighbourhood.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

I take the train to 36th Avenue, which is on the northern end of Long Island City.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The area, which borders Astoria, is very residential, with a lot of single-family homes and small apartments.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Many storefronts in the area appear to still be closed at 9 a.m. Walking around, you’ll see many local businesses and quite a few stores with “for lease” signs in the window.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There is a lot of public housing in the area as well.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Closer toward Manhattan, Long Island City feels more industrial.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There are a lot of big empty buildings and warehouses that look like they could be turned into offices.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Farther south are brand-new high-rise apartments, with more under construction.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There is a lot of office space for rent …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… on almost every block.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There’s also more space being built.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

In addition to offices for rent, there are a lot of buildings advertising their available apartments, which would be important for the 25,000 workers HQ2 would bring.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Walking even farther south, I reached the Queensboro Plaza train stop, which has the 7, N, and W trains. There are several other subway lines nearby.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

On the other side of the tracks are a lot of new and under-construction buildings that look like they could be offices or apartments.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There are a number of businesses based in Long Island City, including Silvercup Studios …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… JetBlue, and Altice USA.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Source: Chicago Business Journal


Bloomingdale’s, Uber, Lyft, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Steve Madden also have offices in Long Island City.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Source: Chicago Business Journal


Many of the offices are housed on the southern side of the Queensboro Plaza station, in Court Square, which is accessible only from the 7 train.

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Major developments are also being built on the waterfront on the southern end of Long Island City, closer to Brooklyn. The developments are more focused on housing than office space.

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Source: Curbed NY


Long Island City has much of what Amazon is looking for, including a lot of space for real-estate development and commuting options.

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Read more about Amazon’s HQ2:

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