After ignominiously canceling plans for a new headquarters in Queens, New York, Amazon is apparently shopping for office space in Manhattan. The company is looking for “at least 100,000 square feet or much more,” according to a report in the New York Post May 27.
Amazon is reportedly considering two skyscrapers—One Manhattan West, available this fall, and Two Manhattan West, available in 2022, both of which are located in the Hudson Yards redevelopment area. However, in an email to Quartz, Andrew Brent, head of communications for Brookfield Properties, the commercial real estate developer behind the buildings, called the Post’s report “false.” Amazon said it does not comment on “rumors or speculation.”
It’s also possible, the Post suggested, that Amazon is interested in the James A. Farley building, the primary US Postal Service building in New York, which is undergoing renovations and is available starting May 2020. The building is also hosting a new extension of Pennsylvania Station, one of the city’s most important rail hubs.
Amazon already has nearly 2,000 employees in the city as of November. That month, when it announced New York and Crystal City, Virginia as the dual winners of “HQ2,” its competition to find its next headquarters after Seattle. The company had promised to bring 25,000 jobs to each location over the next 10 years. However, Amazon scrapped the New York part of that plan in February after fierce criticism over the $3 billion package of financial incentives it was offered by New York’s state and local governments.
If it pursues a Manhattan expansion, the company will probably do so on its own dime. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who initially supported Amazon’s plan for Queens, penned an op-ed in the New York Times, rebuking the company for bolting at the eleventh hour.
When told that Amazon is now considering Manhattan, de Blasio told the Post: “If Amazon decides—as Google did and as many other tech firms have—that they’re going to expand their presence in New York City, that’s their choice.” He added, “It doesn’t surprise me at all, but again, they’re going to have to do it on their own.”
Another tech giant, Google, has gradually grown its New York real estate portfolio, as the company plans to double its presence in the city over the next decade. It already has over 7,000 employees in the city.
Update: This article has been updated to include Amazon’s response.