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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Amazon announces plans to EXPAND offices in NYC and five other cities with 3,500 new hires as it bets on in-office working - even as other companies break their leases and consider permanent remote work

Amazon has announced plans to add 3,500 new corporate employees in six cities, including 2,000 in a new flagship New York City office, in a move that bucks the trends of companies and residents fleeing urban centers amid the pandemic and rising crime.
The company said on Tuesday that it will expand its 'tech hubs' in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego, and open a new office in Manhattan's Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building.
Due to the pandemic, Amazon is urging all of its employees who are able to work remotely to do so until at least January 8, an insider told DailyMail.com. But the expansion plans signal that the online retail giant anticipates a return to normalcy someday, and is betting on a big presence in cities as a core part of its strategy.
It comes as many other companies including Facebook and Twitter make aggressive plans to pivot to long-term remote work, and others eye satellite offices outside of urban cores, particularly New York, where hundreds of thousands of residents have fled in recent months.
Amazon is not the only tech giant announcing a major expansion in Manhattan, however, after Facebook earlier this month signed a lease for the historic Farley Post Office building -- a property Amazon was also rumored to have been considering.
Amazon said on Tuesday that it will expand in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego, and open a new office in Manhattan's Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building (above)
Amazon said on Tuesday that it will expand in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego, and open a new office in Manhattan's Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building (above)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seen in a file photo. The company's new office in the historic Lord & Taylor building is expected to open in 2023
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seen in a file photo. The company's new office in the historic Lord & Taylor building is expected to open in 2023

'These 3,500 new jobs will be in cities across the country with strong and diverse talent pools. We look forward to helping these communities grow their emerging tech workforce,' said Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources.
Amazon's expansion plans include:
  • Dallas: Amazon will expand the existing Dallas Tech Hub at its Galleria location in North Dallas, adding more than 100,000 square feet of space and 600 tech and corporate roles
  • Detroit: The acquisition of more than 25,000 square feet of office space in Detroit will provide space for an additional 100 jobs
  • Denver: Amazon's Denver Tech Hub will grow by an additional 100 jobs with the addition of 20,000 square feet of new office space
  • New York City: Amazon plans to create 2,000 new jobs and has acquired the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building for a new 630,000 square-foot office
  • Phoenix: The company's 90,000 square-foot Phoenix Tech Hub expansion at 100 Mill will allow the addition of more than 500 new jobs
  • San Diego: An addition of more than 40,000 square feet of office space will allow for the creation of 200 new jobs 
An Amazon spokesman told DailyMail.com that the company expects to complete filling these new roles 'in next couple of years.'
The new jobs will be tech and corporate roles supporting various businesses across Amazon, including Amazon Web Services, Alexa and Amazon Fresh, among others.
Amazon was rumored to be considering the historic Lord & Taylor building as early as last summer, after the company's plans for a mega-office employing 25,000 in Queens fell apart due to political opposition from Re. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.
Amazon purchased the Fifth Avenue building from troubled work-sharing company WeWork for more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. 
Amazon's Denver Tech Hub (above) will grow by an additional 100 jobs with the addition of 20,000 square feet of new office space
Amazon's Denver Tech Hub (above) will grow by an additional 100 jobs with the addition of 20,000 square feet of new office space
The acquisition of more than 25,000 square feet of office space in Detroit (above) will provide space for an additional 100 jobs, Amazon says
The acquisition of more than 25,000 square feet of office space in Detroit (above) will provide space for an additional 100 jobs, Amazon says
The online retailer currently has about 5,000 corporate employees in New York City, who are spread around several offices. The Lord & Taylor office is expected to open in 2023.
Amazon said the expansions aren't linked to any financial incentives from local or state governments -- an issue that became a major bone of contention with the scuttled Queens expansion, which was tied to more than $3 billion in state and local tax incentives.
However, Amazon is receiving some building incentives for the Lord & Taylor building transferred over from the deal with WeWork, which will reduce costs to refurbish the space, according to the Journal.  
Experts say that Amazon's strategy hinges on dominating the market in the dense urban cores that are key to the company's online retailing business, perhaps explaining why the company is expanding in cities as other firms flee.
'They do need to be that last mile, to control that last mile,' said financial pundit Jim Cramer on CNBC, referring to the delivery of goods from transportation hubs to consumers.
The strategy is not without risk though, at a time when many are direly predicting the demise of New York amid soaring violent crime and a mass exodus of wealthy and middle-class residents.
On Saturday, an Amazon employee was beaten to death in Manhattan's Greenwich Village after a verbal disagreement with an unidentified man.
Deshawn Bush, 36, was found unconscious outside a bagel shop on Christopher Street at around 4.20am, and was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.
Amazon employee Deshawn Bush, 36, was found unconscious and later died from his injuries after he was beaten by an unidentified attacker on Saturday morning
Amazon employee Deshawn Bush, 36, was found unconscious and later died from his injuries after he was beaten by an unidentified attacker on Saturday morning
Violent crime in New York has exploded in recent months, with shooting incidents across the city up 177 percent in July compared to last year.
Murders were up 59 percent for the month, burglaries rose 31 percent, and auto thefts increased 53 percent. 
In one shocking incident, a man was shot and wounded in broad daylight on a platform at Grand Central Station over the weekend.
The victim was shot in the arm on the 4/5/6 platform at about 10.30am on Saturday, according to police.
Cops say the victim had some kind of verbal dispute with the shooter and was attempting to flee when the other man opened fire.  

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