Amazon announced today that it has canceled plans to open a campus in Long Island City.
Photo: Steven Oldak/Flickr

Could Amazon’s Arrival in New York Cause a Real Estate Boom?

The tech giant’s planned Queens headquarters is already impacting Long Island City’s real-estate market

Even before Amazon’s imminent move to Queens was officially announced on Tuesday, a flurry of real-estate inquiries in Long Island City had already begun.

“We had more buyers at our open houses in Long Island City this Sunday than we’ve had in nearly three months,” Christopher Austad, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman, tells Galerie. “I’ve had about a dozen clients call me this week, some who have sold and moved out of New York City, to discuss Amazon and when and where they should invest to get a piece of the action.”

As had been rumored, the retail giant confirmed that Long Island City and Crystal City, Virginia, were selected as the locations for Amazon’s second and third headquarters. Each office will reportedly employ as many as 25,000 people.

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While the news may be a boon to the real-estate market, New Yorkers are less than thrilled about the company’s arrival, with many outraged at the more than $2 billion in tax incentives the state government has promised Amazon. In a sign of protest, more than 100 people gathered near the site of the proposed offices on Wednesday.

High-rise condos line the Long Island City waterfront. Photo: Flickr

However incensed city dwellers may be, when it comes to real estate in the neighborhood, buyers and sellers alike seem ready to pounce. The Wall Street Journal reported that during the first week since Amazon’s interest in Long Island City became public, searches for residential property in the neighborhood on listing site StreetEasy.com surged 295 percent compared with the same period a week earlier.

“The LIC sales market has just come off the slowest spring and summer market I have experienced since 2009 or 2010,” says Austad. “Buyers have had no sense of urgency even in the face of increasing mortgage rates. Properties were experiencing more days on market, brokers had to be strategic with pricing, and sellers were having to price adjust to make the property more appealing. Over the last week, with this Amazon news, many clients have presented themselves in a hurry to invest before it really takes off and they’re priced out. It’s like all of us LIC brokers have just been reinvigorated to sell!”

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