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The announcement of Long Island City as the location for Amazon’s newest headquarters has ushered in lots of speculation about its impact on the character and economy of New York City. The company is planning to create more than 25,000 high-paying jobs in Queens, and there will be an unknown number of additional new roles in businesses that arise to feed, clothe, outfit and otherwise cater to the arriving Amazonians. Where will these people live, and which trains will they ride? Changes in Long Island City are already being felt. Based on their location, transportation options, and character, the following eight neighborhoods are likely to see significant impacts from Amazon’s arrival as well.
- Median Sale Price: $727,500
- Median Rent: $2,250
Queens prices have been on the rise over the past year, “driven by the overwhelming demand for affordable homes across the city,” according to StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Astoria, one of the borough’s best-known neighborhoods. Dense with midsize, mid-century apartment buildings and classic multifamily homes, Astoria has long appealed to families, and its increasingly cool reputation is drawing more young professionals, too. Sales prices here will likely continue to rise, given the neighborhood’s easy access to Long Island City via the M, R and N lines.
- Median Sale Price: $417,683
- Median Rent: $2,000
Sunnyside will appeal to future Amazon employees for its convenient location due east of the company’s new location, and its direct access to Long Island City via the 7 train. So far, the neighborhood has remained relatively untouched by the new development impacting its neighbor. Its rents and sales prices remain below the median for Queens, though sales prices are creeping up. Given its ease of access and relative affordability, however, this diverse, low-key neighborhood may in for big changes when Amazon finally arrives.
3. Jackson Heights
- Median Sale Price: $450,000
- Median Rent: $1,900
Sitting to the east of Astoria and Sunnyside, Jackson Heights is a relatively affordable and diverse Queens neighborhood. Future Amazonians will exchange slightly longer commutes on the 7, E, M, and R trains for spacious prewar apartments and a lively mix of commercial and residential life. The area buzzes with street vendors, global cuisine, and the constant rattle of the elevated 7 train running over Roosevelt Avenue. Jackson Heights is a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood, and while there are not late-night clubs and music venues, its shopping and street life never stop. That seems likely to appeal to those looking to relocate in Queens.
4. Forest Hills
- Median Sale Price: $437,500
- Median Rent: $2,000
On a map, Forest Hills may seem far from Long Island City, but for Amazon employees looking for a slower, more suburban atmosphere, the neighborhood offers it — along with easy subway access to their new jobs. Once off the train, this neighborhood feels worlds apart from the glassy towers of western Queens, with its high density of Tudor-style single-family homes, neat lawns and quiet cul-de-sacs. Forest Hills also has a cute, walkable downtown. For a relocating Amazon exec, this is about as close as NYC gets to Seattle’s leafy Queen Anne neighborhood.
- Median Sale Price: $1,502,500
- Median Rent: $2,995
Greenpoint’s mix of the local, the crafty and the artisan — plus its old-world industrial atmosphere — have drawn the eye of many a young Brooklynite. The neighborhood’s limited subway access, however, has isolated it from the waves of new residents and buildings that have so changed Williamsburg. With the arrival of Amazon just off the G train at Court Square, Greenpoint may see major changes as Amazonians looking for a trendy Brooklyn home realize its convenience for them. Prices have continued to rise this year, as the April 2019 L train shutdown pushes Williamsburg residents north in search of similar vibes and reliable subway access. Amazon’s arrival will only increase Greenpoint’s appeal.
6. Roosevelt Island
- Median Sale Price: $1,116,159
- Median Rent: $3,415
Residents of this skinny island have long claimed it as the city’s best-kept secret, with direct access to both Midtown and Queens but none of the crowds or traffic. Low-traffic Roosevelt Island was developed as a postwar planned community, and it retains that measured, quiet vibe. Due in part to its proximity to the United Nations, the island is highly diverse. But with the new Amazon campus locating just to the east in Long Island City, one stop away on the F train, this global village may have to make way for a wave of immigrating Amazonians.
7. Midtown East
- Median Sale Price: $804,357
- Median Rent: $3,39
It’s been a while since Midtown East has made any list of the hottest neighborhoods in New York City, but the triumvirate of Kips Bay, Murray Hill and Turtle Bay may be in for a comeback. The area offers good value by Manhattan standards, and direct access to Long Island City via the F, E and 7 lines. The ferry line running between Midtown East and Gantry Plaza State Park may appeal to any Amazonians relocating from Seattle as well. The avenues of Midtown East are lively with bars and restaurants, while the quiet side streets, especially those in Murray Hill and Tudor City, have a timeless charm. It’s easy to see the area as a draw for tech workers hoping to experience Manhattan’s energy and density.
8. Nassau County, Long Island
- Median Sale Price: $492,000
For Amazonians seeking a truly suburban lifestyle, Long Island is another attractive locale. Multiple lines of the Long Island Railroad offer access to points to and around Long Island City. And as far as commuting enclaves go, Nassau County offers slightly lower property taxes and real estate values compared to Westchester County and Northern New Jersey, in exchange for denser development and direct access to Midtown. Now, with a major new economic hub located on Long Island itself, the suburbs of Nassau County are, well, primed to take off.
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