Before a Deal, Amazon Had to Know: Could Cuomo and De Blasio Get Along?

By January, Amazon narrowed the checklist to 20 areas, together with New York. Amazon visited in April, July and September, stated a individual aware of the conferences. The executives narrowed their search to websites on the West Side of Manhattan and in Long Island City earlier than lastly deciding on the Queens neighborhood.

Mr. Carney stated Mr. Bezos didn’t tour any of the websites. The course of was run by Holly Sullivan, who leads the corporate’s worldwide financial improvement. John Schoettler, the manager who oversees Amazon’s actual property, negotiated with the non-public builders.

During one go to, the Amazon executives visited the Cornell Tech campus, a new high-tech faculty on Roosevelt Island, and took the ferry from there to Long Island City. They rode Citi Bikes as metropolis officers and native Queens representatives confirmed off the realm. On one other event, they took the ferry at sundown.

It wasn’t till the previous few weeks that issues actually took off.

Gov. Cuomo met Amazon executives, together with Jeff Wilke, who runs the corporate’s retail enterprise, in his places of work on Third Avenue. From the window, he stated, they might see the positioning alongside the waterfront Amazon would ultimately choose.

“I showed them the pictures of the progress of LaGuardia, of J.F.K., Penn Station, Kosciuszko Bridge — I explained what doubling the span means,” he stated, referring to constructing initiatives. He stated Amazon executives have been serious about having a pipeline of educated workers, not simply from the highest universities, however from different locations reminiscent of Queens College and the close by LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.

Amazon expressed concern concerning the metropolis’s planning course of, which is gradual and permits for native officers and the City Council to veto initiatives. The firm’s legal professionals appeared to find out about these pitfalls and wished to keep away from them. So Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo agreed to let the state management the approval, which means there may very well be native enter however no native veto. Mr. Cuomo stated it was a “friendly condemnation” of the city-controlled land by the state, not a supply of rigidity.

Though the mayor and governor met individually with Amazon, they have been in shut contact, evaluating notes and strategizing over the telephone, in accordance to a individual briefed on the talks.

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