Coopersmith and Coopersmith

Amazon has announced it is establishing a presence in Long Island City, in addition to the 360,000 square feet it currently rents in Hudson Yards. Today, we take for granted that New York is a vast resource for technology talent but that is the culmination of a lot of effort not the least of which is Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to attract Cornell University to Roosevelt Island. Embracing STEM industries has diversified the City’s economy and will continue to make us a leader in the world. There are and will continue to be opportunities in New York City unlike anywhere else. That is what the New York Launch Pod and my legal practice are based upon.

The latest episode of the New York Launch Pod coincidentally touches on infrastructure with a portion of the episode discussing congestion pricing. It’s also no secret that New York City is in dire need of an infrastructure upgrade. There are yawning budget deficits for the MTA, no funding in place for the Gateway Tunnel, steam pipe obsolesce, among many other issues.Missing from the Amazon announcement was a plan that includes infrastructure and housing expansion to the benefit of all New Yorkers. According to a study commissioned by New York State, there would be an increase in tax revenue of $27.5 Billion (between the City and the State) over 25 years if Amazon hires 40,000 workers (Amazon committed to 25,000). How will the additional tax revenue be used.Is there a plan for how it will change our city?

In Episode 40 of the New York Launch Pod, I spoke to Ron Bergmaini, CEO of Action Environmental. He told me that there are industrial facilities like his company’s recycling plant that cities need and are often overlooked. Today we need a plan for how such private industry and public investment will exist in the future. While Amazon’s expanded presence will be a driver of growth for New York, there certainly seems like a larger plan is missing.

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