- A new poll by Quinnipiac University found that New York City residents – even ones in Queens -largely support Amazon coming to town.
- The 1,075 New York City voters polled were split on both the incentives the cities offered and how the deal went down, however.
- Amazon is reportedly hiring an external New York-focused public affairs team, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
It turns out, most New Yorkers do in fact like it, according to a new poll done by Quinnipiac University. In fact, 57% of New Yorkers say they welcome Amazon moving to the neighbourhood, while 26% oppose it. The margin is even larger – 60% approval to 26% rejection – in Queens, where Amazon will be eventually be based.
That’s a notable two-to-one margin, and comes as something of a surprise after local politicians and some community groups voiced opposition to Amazon’s selection. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,075 New York City voters via random calls to landlines and cell phones in late November and early December in order to conduct the poll.
New Yorkers are split, however, on the package of up to $US3 billion in tax incentives the city and state are offering the company. It’s a much narrower divide, with 46% supporting the incentives and 44% opposing it citywide.
“While New Yorkers give the thumbs up to Amazon moving one of its new headquarters to Long Island City, they are divided over the sizeable carrot offered to the online retail giant,” Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “They are united, however, in their view that New York City should have more of a say about Amazon’s plans.”
Respondents to the poll said they are mostly worried about housing costs rising, with 31% mentioning it as their biggest concern about Amazon’s HQ2. That is followed by 25% worried about transportation and 20% concerned about general changes to quality of life. Around 19% of respondents are worried about all of that.
Adding to voters’ dissatisfaction was how both New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo handled the HQ2 deal. Both got mixed grades from voters in the poll. New Yorkers also said they would have preferred the city to be more involved in the selection process.
Amazon is reportedly in late-stage talks with media-relations firm SKDKnickerbocker to handle its New York public outreach, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“We are excited to work with New Yorkers over the coming months and years to bring a new Amazon headquarters to Long Island City and help support the community,” an Amazon spokeswoman told the Journal. “We are at the beginning of this process and we are going to be all hands on deck to ensure we continue to learn about the neighbourhood and the community.”
Amazon announced that its HQ2 would be split between Long Island City and the newly created National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, on November 13.
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