Governor Kathy Hochul plans to speak with Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos in the coming weeks to explore whether or not talks can be revived to locate a major global headquarters in New York City — a since defunct proposal that would have created 25,000 jobs paying an average salary of $150,000. Following criticism from freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, the firm pulled out of the prospective public-private partnership with the State.
Now, Hochul wants Amazon’s corporate presence to serve as a catalytic anchor to the redevelopment of Brooklyn’s waterfront by locating inside the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT), a massive former military depot that once housed 20,000 civilian and military personnel during WWII, and has since been repurposed as a business incubator for small-scale manufacturing startups.
BAT has been managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) since 1986. Much of the cavernous space remains unutilized.
The BAT was constructed in 1918, during World War I, and was completed the following year after the conclusion of the war. The terminal was subsequently leased out and used for various purposes, including as a dock, a military prison, and a storage space for drugs and alcohol during Prohibition.
During World War II, the terminal was the United States’ largest military supply base. The United States Army stopped using the BAT in 1967, and the terminal was briefly used by the United States Postal Service and the Navy.
The New York City government purchased the terminal in 1981, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Since then, the BAT has undergone a series of renovations to make it suitable for commercial and light industrial use.
“Can you imagine a better tenant for a building that has played such a historic role in logistics? In many ways this building was an arsenal of democracy during WWII,” one associate of the Governor explains.
“To have America’s top logistics company occupy it as their corporate office would be an ode to that history and the building’s unique architecture,” he adds.
Operatives close to Hochul explain that she will prioritize the ‘TriboroRX‘ whether or not Amazon decides to locate at the BAT. But if Amazon does locate on the Brooklyn waterfront, operatives say that Hochul would be willing to commit to infrastructure improvements that enable the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to service the campus as well.