India's No. 1 Affordable Computer Franchise (ISO Certified, Govt. Approved) | Get approval in 10 Hours. For Inquiries: CALL +91-9774064470

Bits: The Week in Tech: Amazon Finally Makes an HQ2 Decision

Each week, technology reporters and columnists from The New York Times review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.Hello from Seattle. I’m Karen Weise, the new tech correspondent here. As you might imagine, the announcement of Amazon’s decision in what it had billed as a search for a second headquarters, a.k.a. HQ2, has dominated news here this week.After 14 months of near silence from the company — and a week of reporting that it was closing in on a choice — Amazon finally said it…

Continue Reading

The Look of Amazon’s HQ2 Winners, Before Amazon

Crystal City in Arlington, Va.CreditHector Emanuel for The New York TimesLong Island City in QueensCreditChristopher Lee for The New York TimesInstead of one new home, Amazon chose two. Two places, with waterfront views and organic shops and abandoned buildings, that will someday house tens of thousands of high-tech workers.We spent much of this week in those two places, Crystal City in Arlington, Va., and Long Island City in Queens, to capture life there as Amazon named them the winners of a 14-month-long beauty contest for its new headquarters.Together, the two areas — both are neighborhoods, not actually cities — could help make Amazon one of the largest…

Continue Reading

Amazon’s HQ2 in Virginia Leaves a Real Estate Firm Poised to Cash In

Two years ago, Matt Kelly couldn’t have known that a failed merger involving his real estate firm would propel him toward a central role in Amazon’s expansion plans.In May 2016, Mr. Kelly and his firm, then known as the JBG Companies, had an agreement to merge with a large real estate investment trust based in New York. But shareholders of the New York fund balked, and the deal collapsed.A few months later, JBG, based in Chevy Chase, Md., had a new partner. In a deal valued at $8.4 billion, JBG merged with a Washington unit spun off from the real estate behemoth Vornado Realty Trust.The new company,…

Continue Reading

New York Is a Genuine Tech Hub (and That Was Before Amazon)

In 2003, Craig Nevill-Manning, a computer scientist at Google, wanted to set up an engineering outpost in New York. Google’s top leaders were skeptical, but they told him that he could go ahead if he could find 15 “Google-worthy” software developers in the city.“The attitude was that pretty much all the good software engineers were in Silicon Valley,” Mr. Nevill-Manning recalled. “It seems crazy in retrospect.”Mr. Nevill-Manning found his developers and opened the engineering office in New York. Today, Google employs 7,000 people in the city, and more than half are engineers and technical staff.The Google story mirrors the rise and evolution of New York as a…

Continue Reading

Amazon’s New York Home Qualifies as ‘Distressed’ Under Federal Tax Law

There are wine bars and a cycling studio along the riverfront in Long Island City, among gleaming high-rise apartment buildings with views of Midtown Manhattan. The soon-to-open library branch is a modern art cube of concrete, the median income is $138,000 a year, and America’s hottest online retailer is about to move in.In the eyes of the federal government, the census tract that will house Amazon’s new headquarters in New York is an “opportunity zone,” eligible for tax credits meant to spur investment in low-income communities.The retail giant said Tuesday that it had selected this upscale slice of Long Island City to house one of two new…

Continue Reading

Amazon HQ2: How New York and Virginia Won the Beauty Contest

After 14 months of pitches, meetings and offers of incentives and name changes, Amazon announced on Tuesday that its second headquarters would be on two sites: one in Long Island City, Queens, and another in Arlington, Va. The company is also developing a smaller operations and logistics facility in Nashville. Here are some details you might have missed in all the coverage:Amazon brought Cuomo and de Blasio togetherCompany executives flew to New York just to establish that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio could put aside their longstanding differences. Although the two have clashed on everything from the subway to handling deer, they were…

Continue Reading

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

On a late October day, Amazon executives flew to New York to answer a final question before they committed to opening a massive technology center in Queens: Could Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio stop bickering long enough to see the project through?“They wanted to just trust-but-verify that everybody was on the same page,” said Alicia Glen, a deputy mayor who was at the meeting with Mr. de Blasio.After meeting with both men separately that day, the Amazon officials decided the two Democrats could put aside their longstanding differences. Soon after, documents were exchanged, and re-exchanged, ironing out details of a package worth more…

Continue Reading

A $2 Billion Question: Did New York and Virginia Overpay for Amazon?

Amazon built a retail empire on low prices and free shipping. But for taxpayers, its new headquarters didn’t come cheap.New York and Virginia collectively offered more than $2 billion in tax credits, rebates and other incentives to attract the company. That figure doesn’t include what could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure spending, worker training and other government assistance.Economists have long criticized tax incentives as inefficient and unnecessary, arguing that they pit cities or states against each other and leave less money for education and public works that ultimately do more to lift local economies and improve livelihoods. Research has shown that incentives play…

Continue Reading

Dominating Retail? Yes. Reviving a City? No Thanks.

ImageA demonstration in front of Amazon in Seattle in April. Protesters called for a tax on the city’s largest companies to help pay for homeless services. The tax passed, but Amazon fought the measure, and the Seattle City Council repealed it. CreditLindsey Wasson/ReutersAmazon could have transformed a city. It could have created 50,000 high-paying jobs in a place with higher-than-average unemployment. It could have become the largest employer in a midsize city, or the central player in a new regional tech hub. But the company that has radically transformed the retail industry has never shown much appetite for remolding cities. And by announcing Tuesday that it would…

Continue Reading

Critic’s Notebook: Amazon’s HQ2 Will Benefit From New York City. But What Does New York Get?

The innovation myth used to involve the back of a suburban garage or an office park in Silicon Valley. The tech industry was incubated not on the mean streets of the big city, but in sleepy hamlets like Murray Hill, N.J., and Mountain View, Calif.So with Amazon splitting HQ2, its second headquarters, between Crystal City, a part of Arlington, Va., and Long Island City, in Queens, what are we to make of tech’s steady migration to marquee cities?Amazon is hardly alone, after all. Google and Facebook already have headquarters here (established, not incidentally, without state subsidies). Google intends to double its work force in the city to…

Continue Reading