- Amazon announced on Thursday that it had canceled its planned HQ2 project for the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York.
- While some local and state politicians who objected to the deal are celebrating the news, groups of residents and landlords are furious.
- One landlord, who said he invested large amounts of money into property in the area to attract Amazon workers, is leading a boycott at an Amazon Books store in New York on Friday.
A New York City landlord has launched a boycott effort against Amazon after the e-commerce giant announced on Thursday that it had pulled out of its HQ2 project there.
Sam Musovic, who owns apartments close to where Amazon had proposed building its headquarters in the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, said in a press release on Friday that he and a group of angry Queens residents would be protesting at an Amazon Books store near Herald Square on Friday.
He also said he and other landlords from the area were considering taking legal action against Amazon.
“Boycott @amazon” say protestors outside the company’s @amazonbooks store in Midtown after the trillion dollar company said its ditching plans for HQ2 in Queens NY @contessabrewer reports @PowerLunch pic.twitter.com/Wu3RCzMgL5
— Harriet Taylor (@Harri8t) February 15, 2019
This group wants to bring back Amazon. They’re protesting outside Amazon Books on 34th Street in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/vqdzhfPJEQ
— Maya Kaufman (@mayakauf) February 15, 2019
Musovic told Business Insider that the news about HQ2 being canceled was “devastating.”
“I thought I was going to be the happiest guy on the planet,” he said.
Musovic said he took out a loan of more than $US1 million from the bank to renovate his apartments in Long Island City and two restaurants he owns on the Upper East Side before Amazon’s November announcement that it would be opening a headquarters in the area. He said he then shifted his focus to investing in the Long Island City locations, putting in new kitchens and bathrooms, thinking he would get the money back when more people move to the area.
Amazon had said it would bring as many as 40,000 jobs to the city over several years with its new headquarters. Now that’s not happening. In a blog post on Thursday, the retail giant called out state and local politicians and hinted that their protests were behind its decision to kill its plans to come to New York.
“I am not going to be able to recoup the benefits,” Musovic said. “It’s a huge loss. We want Amazon back.”
Musovic wasn’t the only one to go all in on real estate in the area. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that real-estate brokers in Queens were seeing record sales because of the HQ2 deal.
According to StreetEasy, in the five weeks after Amazon’s plan leaked, 18.8% of homes for sale in Long Island City saw their prices increase. In the five weeks before the announcement, no listings in the area had raised prices.
Now experts are expecting the housing market to revert to preannouncement levels.
“Long Island City’s housing market will likely experience a bit of whiplash as a result of this latest news,” Nancy Wu, a StreetEasy economic-data analyst, told Business Insider.
“In the weeks after the initial announcement that Amazon would be coming to Queens, we saw sellers in the area increase their asking prices, interest from buyers and investors spike to new highs, and for-sale listings beyond Long Island City – in areas like Midtown and Astoria – tout their proximity to the new Amazon campus.”
Amazon said it would stick to its plan to develop a new headquarters in Northern Virginia and a new office in Nashville.
- Read more about Amazon cancelling its plans for NYC:
- Amazon says it won’t reopen its HQ2 search after bailing on New York City
- Mayor Bill de Blasio slams Amazon for scrapping its HQ2 project in New York City
- Virginia is now the sole winner of Amazon’s HQ2. Here’s what its planned neighbourhood could look like.
- Amazon’s HQ2 deal with New York is officially off – and it means that the state and city will lose out on $US27.5 billion in tax revenue
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