Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, and Murray Hill) today said Queens should not be so quick to welcome Amazon’s planned expansion with a distribution center into Woodside, calling the world’s third most valuable company a monopolistic mega-corporation, which has destroyed local economies one community at a time.
Kim’s criticism comes after the e-commerce giant announced this week it has signed a full building lease to open its first Queens distribution center at the former Bulova watch headquarters at 26-15 Boody Street.
Under the deal, Amazon will take over the entire one-story 83,000-square-foot building Dec. 1 from landlord Terreno Realty Company, which acquired the property from Bulova last March for just over $25 million.
The building will be used for “last-mile delivery”, or the last station that shipped products arrive at before being delivered to customers. The building is positioned close to the intersection between the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway, making it highly accessible.
The company expects to create hundreds of full- and part-time jobs in the area, each paying between $18 and $25 an hour, as reported by the Astoria Post.
“We are excited to continue our investment in New York to speed up delivery times for customers and provide great job opportunities for the talented workforce,” Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip said in a statement.
But Kim warned that Amazon is a Trojan Horse that should not be embraced with open arms into the borough, and alleged it is in clear violation of anti-trust laws.
“They reached their super-monopoly status by controlling everything from the supply chain and marketplace down to even the retail space. As a borough that thrives on protecting our local economies and small businesses, we should not be so short-sighted; inviting in this trojan horse will only lead to a greater extraction of money and wealth from our communities. Simply put, for every one job they may create today in Queens, they will take away 10 jobs tomorrow through their extractive practices,” said Kim.
Kim said the borough should work together to hold Amazon accountable for using its super-monopoly status to manipulate data and destroy competition, a direct violation of our anti-trust laws.
“Needless to say, I will not be attending their ribbon-cutting ceremony. Instead, I will be returning to Albany to work on legislation that will bust up trusts like Amazon which are destroying our democracy.”
This marks the second time that the retailer has opened a building in New York State, the first being the fulfillment center in Staten Island that it opened earlier this year. And there may be a third; last week the company sent some executives to Long Island City, one of the remaining candidates for the location of its upcoming second headquarters.