The Queens Landlord Left Hanging By Amazon Blames Cuomo, de Blasio For The Deal's Collapse
In the month since Amazon killed its HQ2 plans for New York City, many in the city's real estate community have leveled blame at elected officials who spoke out against the deal.
But the founder and managing partner of Savanna, Chris Schlank, has singled out Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio — public supporters and architects of the tech giant’s deal for Long Island City.
Schlank’s company owns One Court Square, where Amazon had planned to lease 1M SF left open by the departure of Citigroup next year.
“It was incredibly, incredibly, incredibly poorly handled by Cuomo and de Blasio,” Schlank said Saturday at a panel discussion at the 92Y’s “City of Tomorrow” Summit, The Real Deal reports. “The hubris that Cuomo showed and the weakness that de Blasio showed tacitly not wanting to put his name on Amazon because he likes the unions was terrible in so many ways.”
“It’s going to take a very long time to repair the damage,” he said.
Amazon was set to build up to 8M SF on the Long Island City waterfront as a new headquarters, but last month canceled plans in the face of intense opposition. Schlank said Amazon was a week away from signing its lease to take more than 1M SF at his firm's office property before it pulled out of the HQ2 project entirely.
Many in real estate consider the departure a tremendous loss and highly damaging to the city’s business environment — but others argue there will be little impact to the Big Apple as a whole. The city still has the talent businesses need, the tech sector is growing rapidly, and the fundamentals driving the commercial real estate market remain.