I’ve lived near Long Island City for more than a decade. Here’s why I’m worried Amazon HQ2 may come to Queens.

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Amazon is reportedly splitting its second headquarters, known as HQ2, in two locations. Each would have about 25,000 new workers.
The company reportedly wants to put half of HQ2 in Long Island City, or LIC — the western-most neighborhood in Queens, New York.
Developers have rapidly built up LIC in recent years, and local leaders are promising big subsidies in hopes of attracting Amazon.
But nearby housing prices continue to skyrocket. Many immigrant and working families in Queens are also moving deeper into the borough and commuting farther to work to afford housing in area.
Public transportation is also overcrowded.
In the coming decades, climate change and rising seas will chronically flood parts of LIC and possibly bury it underwater.

When I heard that Amazon may split its second headquarters, known as HQ2, between Crystal City, Virginia, and Long Island City, Queens, my heart sank.

I’ve called Queens my home for most of my adult life. It’s one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas on Earth, and is also where I’ve built a career in journalism, stumbled out of and into love, discovered Kuala Lumpur-style fish-head curry, walked whole neighborhoods without hearing any English, and am now raising my first child.

My family lives in a one-bedroom apartment near Long Island City (or LIC, as locals abbreviate it). Frequent dog walks and a westward view from our kitchen window have given us a front-row seat to the area’s radical transformation. When I moved to the area in 2007, LIC was a tangle of giant warehouses, crumbling parking structures, seedy night clubs, and mind-blowing graffiti.

Today it’s almost unrecognizable. An impeccable public park now lines the East River waterfront, and views of Manhattan’s skyline — once easy to see from my street — have been walled off by gleaming, glass-covered condo towers.

Read more: New York City owns a creepy island that almost no one is allowed to visit — here’s what it’s like

I can see why Amazon would fix its gaze upon LIC and estimate a multi-billion-dollar boost to the local economy. The neighborhood is a stone’s throw from Manhattan, sits fairly close to the city’s three major international airports, touches several major subway lines, and has room to build and grow. Also, New York City is an incredible place to live — …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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