As retail giant Amazon reconsiders whether to build a headquarters in Long Island City against stiff political headwinds, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine quickly offered up Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley again as an option.
According to a Washington Post story Friday, which cited two people “familiar with the company’s thinking,” Amazon executives recently discussed exploring alternative locations.
If that’s the case, consider Romaine’s arms wide open.
“Brookhaven Town is home to a half million people, providing a significant talent pool for jobs being offered by Amazon,” Romaine said in a statement Friday. “As the largest Town in New York, Brookhaven also has numerous housing options for Amazon employees, as well as business sites for suppliers. I want to assure Amazon that Brookhaven’s doors are open for new business.”
He was not immediately available for further comment.
News of Amazon’s second thoughts had New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo accusing the state Senate of “governmental malpractice” at the Long Island Association meeting Friday, according to a Newsday story.
Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), fired back that the governor made a “secret” and “bad” deal with Amazon. He also said Cuomo could have “orchestrated” the threat of Amazon leaving as a way to quiet critics, the story said.
Brookhaven had proposed in 2017 to have Calabro serve as the site for an East Coast Amazon headquarters, noting its access to the Long Island Expressway, a scientific institution in the nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory and available land, among other factors.
Kevin Law, president and CEO of the LIA, didn’t think Romaine’s latest pitch to bring Amazon to Brookhaven would gain any traction.
“I love Ed, but it’s not going to happen out there,” Law said. “If Amazon pulls out of Long Island City because of the left-wing politics going on there,” Law said he believes Amazon would double the size of its other planned East Coast headquarters in Virginia.
Martin R. Cantor, director of the Long Island Center of Socioeconomic Policy, a Melville-based think tank, said Brookhaven lacks the transportation and housing infrastructure and is too far away from New York City.
For those main reasons, he said, “It’s never going to happen.”