LIBN readers want Amazon HQ at Brookhaven Airport

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If Long Island were to win the bid for Amazon’s next headquarters, most LIBN readers envision it located at Brookhaven Airport.

That’s according to a recent poll on libn.com. In response to the question, “If the 2nd Amazon HQ is built on LI, where should it be?” 34 percent of all respondents said it should be at the airport in Shirley. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, at a press conference in late September, said the site offers “over 600 acres that are ready for development.”

Brookhaven Airport, which includes 500 acres in Shirley, borders an additional 101 acres of land previously owned by Dowling College.

Yet 23 percent of voters said they thought Amazon should consider Belmont Park – a site that has become latest infatuation of Islanders fans who hope to see the Long Island team return to Nassau County. In late September, James Dolan, owner of Madison Square Garden and New York Arena Partners, pitched a new hockey arena for the team.

Another 23 percent said Heartland Town Square would be the appropriate place for Amazon’s headquarters. Heartland, which saw the first phase of its ambitious redevelopment project approved in July 2017, offers 452 acres of land formerly of the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital in Brentwood.

The three sites were presented by officials at a recent press conference as prospective locations for the Empire State Development Corp. to consider including as part of the state’s proposal to Amazon.

However, 14 percent said they didn’t think Amazon should consider Long Island at all. And 5 percent said they had other sites in mind – LIBN reader Ron Wood suggested the EPCAL property in Riverhead. In March 2017, unmanned aircraft maker Luminati Aerospace signed a letter of intent to buy all 2,300-acre space in Calverton for about $40 million in cash. The town said then it expected to close on the deal before the end of the year.

If selected, Long Island would be the site of the e-commerce giant’s new digs, where it would pledge $5 billion in investments and 50,000 jobs over the course of 20 years. The headquarters could require nearly 8 million square feet of office space according to Amazon, and stipulations outlined in the RFP criteria include mass transit, an expanding skilled labor pool, and “stable business climate for growth.”

But there’s fierce competition across the country for the development. A city in Georgia has pledged to change its name to Amazon if it is selected as the headquarters destination. And an analysis by The New York Times suggested the most likely candidates are Denver, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

But Long Island officials are still hopeful.

“The competition will be keen, but why not Long Island? We’re hoping that ESD will include one or more of these sites,” Long Island Association CEO Kevin Law said at last week’s press conference.

LIBN conducts weekly informal polls of readers on LIBN.com. The “Amazon HQ” poll was open from Oct. 4 through Oct. 11. Click here to respond to this week’s poll question: Should your downtown be revitalized with more rental housing and transit-oriented development?

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