Amazon leases new Manhattan office space, less than a year after HQ2 pullout

Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to take new office space in Midtown Manhattan, showing a renewed commitment to New York City less than a year after it abruptly dropped plans to locate its second headquarters in Queens.

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The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city's west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees. Amazon is taking the space without any of the special tax credits and other inducements the company had been offered to build a new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the company said.

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The new lease represents Amazon's largest expansion in New York since it stunned the city by abandoning those earlier plans. Amazon pulled back after facing a backlash from some politicians and activists over the roughly $3 billion in financial incentives the city and state had extended to woo the company and the 25,000 new jobs it had pledged to create.

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Many in the New York business community worried that Amazon's withdrawal would signal to other tech giants and large companies that New York had become inhospitable to business.

Now, Amazon's continued expansion marks the latest sign that tech companies are scrambling for prime Manhattan real estate in order to attract the city's large and well-educated talent pool.

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Facebook Inc. said last month that it had signed a lease for a 1.5 million square-foot campus at Hudson Yards, and the social media company is in talks to take about 700,000 square feet at a project under redevelopment across the street from Penn Station, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Alphabet Inc.'s Google, which has plans to add 7,000 employees over the next decade in the city, signed a lease earlier this year for 1.3 million square feet at a converted former freight terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood as well as space in two other buildings nearby.

Amazon already has more than 3,500 employees in its New York City tech hub and will continue to grow, the company said. It employs more than 8,000 people between its tech hub and fulfillment centers in the area.

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The new location, which owner SL Green Realty Corp. is redeveloping, will house staff in the company's consumer and advertising groups. The building will have a 5,000 square-foot roof deck, huge industrial style windows and a number of terraces.

"We plan to continue to hire and grow organically across our 18 Tech Hubs, including New York City," an Amazon spokeswoman said.