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The original item was published from 10/24/2017 1:39:28 PM to 5/1/2018 12:10:08 AM.

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Posted on: October 24, 2017

[ARCHIVED] New Rochelle Bids for Amazon HQ2




With more than 8.6 million square feet of downtown space pre-approved for fast-track development by a designated master developer, the City of New Rochelle is the perfect location for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

That’s the message the City of New Rochelle has sent to Amazon in a campaign to win designation as home of a new, multi-phase, corporate center eventually expected to employ as many as 50,000 people and attract some $5 billion in capital investment.

New Rochelle also qualifies to serve as Amazon’s new headquarters because of its superior location, access to transportation, proximity to a talented and educated workforce, commitment to sustainability, and the availability of extensive government incentives.

As part of its bid, the City is offering Davids Island, a currently unused, 78-acre former U.S. Army base located 3,000 feet off of New Rochelle’s waterfront, which could be renamed “Amazon Island” and serve as a recreational hub for the company’s employees, New Rochelle residents and the rest of New Rochelle’s workforce.  

“Like Amazon, New Rochelle has boldly championed its own future by welcoming change, embracing diversity, and disrupting the status quo,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “We’re attracting new residents and businesses, embracing the arts and technology, and writing our community’s next great chapter based on smart growth, innovation, and sustainability. New Rochelle is ideal for Amazon.”

“New Rochelle will serve Amazon as a dynamic center of creativity and technological vision that can ‘think big and creatively,’” says New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome, III. “Amazon wants to establish operations in a ‘stable and business-friendly environment’ that’s able to ‘attract and retain strong technical talent.’ Well, that’s New Rochelle.”  

“New Rochelle has emerged as a premiere destination to work, live and grow,” said Luiz Aragon, New Rochelle’s Commissioner of Development. “It’s not only what New Rochelle has to offer, but what the entire tri-state area has to offer as well. We can provide Amazon with access to the region without having to be within the boundaries of New York City and its associated high costs. New Rochelle’s dynamic urban core features a diverse and bustling business and residential community, complemented by an idyllic and sought-after suburban district. Our assets are a perfect fit for the way Americans live and work today.”

“RXR supports New Rochelle’s efforts to promote its many assets and to bring new resources to its downtown, including new employers,” said Seth Pinsky, executive vice president of RXR Realty, the designated master developer for downtown New Rochelle. “With its diverse and talented population, transit accessibility, affordable rents and flexible zoning regime, downtown New Rochelle has the right mix of ingredients for Amazon or for any cutting-edge, 21st-century employer.”

Centrally located less than 20 miles from Manhattan, Stamford, CT and John F. Kennedy International Airport -- and ten 10 miles from LaGuardia Airport -- the City’s massive, developable downtown space stands within a 2.5-block radius of its Metro-North train station. The overall development plan incorporates economically diverse, high-quality housing, modern retail, commercial, office and hotel space integrated with a walkable streetscape, waterfront access, and abundant green space.  

New Rochelle’s talented and educated workforce -- increasingly comprised of young professionals priced out of the New York City market -- is served by exceptional public schools, three highly regarded colleges, and a greater pool of ten million people living within a convenient and affordable 30-minute trip to the city’s downtown.

A vibrant recreation, dining and retail hub, New Rochelle offers a vast number of dining and entertainment offerings, along with a supported and thriving arts and technology district that has grown into a hub for virtual reality, artificial intelligence and immersive technology development.

Focused on connectivity, New Rochelle’s fiber optic network is served by Verizon and Optimum. Installation is about to begin on the first 24 of 100 ultra-high speed Verizon Wi-Fi kiosks downtown.

Reflecting the City’s sustainability ethos, residents can tap into low-priced, 100% renewable power and electric-vehicle charging stations. A planned Complete Streets program will promote safe travel for those walking, cycling, driving, and riding public transit, along with Westchester County’s first bike-share program.

New Rochelle is the only city in New York among the top 50 best places to live in the United States by 24/7 Wall Street. The city also ranked among the five safest cities of its size in the country. New Rochelle’s healthy municipal culture is reflected by a politics-free zoning approval process, a lean City workforce, and Moody’s bond ratings that stand at their highest in more than 80 years.

Amazon would be eligible for generous, 20-year property tax incentives, sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions from local authorities, and substantial incentives offered by New York State.

The company projects that each of the tens of thousands of new full-time employees it expects to hire at the new headquarters will earn average annual total compensation exceeding $100,000 within ten to fifteen years of the commencement of operations. Amazon estimates that its investment in its original headquarters in Seattle has infused $38 billion into the city’s economy to date.

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