The ink has barely dried to Amazon leasing properties at 12555 Flatlands Avenue and at 2300 Linden Boulevard for a major distribution center in East New York and local candidates, media people and electeds are already clashing on what it means to have the corporate behemoth and job creator set up shop in the neighborhood.
The development deal was first reported on East New York.com, and the site also published an op-ed criticizing Councilmember Inez Barron (D-East New York, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie), Assemblymember Charles Barron (D-East New York), and Senator Roxanne Persaud (D- Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) for jointly going against Amazon’s choice of location and possibly hindering development and job creation in the community.
City Council Candidate Nikki Lucas, who also has a successful live-streaming show on the site, says she is all for job creation and development, but the goal is for the jobs to come with a living wage.
“I would like to see more union jobs, which are career opportunities. As far as development, I am all for it but I am against providing tax breaks and subsidies because those taxes fall on the residents to pay. The gap between the wealthy and the working person is getting wider every day and it’s unsustainable,” said Lucas. “In this case with Amazon, the current elected officials continue to sleep at the wheel.”
Lucas said that current officials were clearly “incompetent” to have one of the largest companies in the world open up two locations and not know about it.
“East New York has been fighting from behind for the past 20 years,” said Lucas.
Persaud said she was not notified of the pending opening of the sites. She also said that property owners do have the right to lease their space, but should consider the impact on the community, positive or negative.
Persaud said she still has questions as to the expected environmental impact on the area, including truck traffic as well as air, noise and light pollution, and if the job creation will be available to members of the community.
“I am not opposed to an influx of much-needed jobs coming to my Senate District. Whether it is Amazon or any other company, my question remains the same: where is the community conversation?” said Persaud in response to KCP.
“A report on a similar project on Staten Island shows a significant economic gain for residents in terms of employment. Would the same go for Brooklyn residents? After hearing of Amazon’s planned facility in SD 19, I reached out to begin a conversation to ensure the best interests of East New York residents (as neighbors and potential future employees) and the entire Senate District,” said Persaud.
The Barrons didn’t respond with comments in time for posting. Their silence on the matter comes as Charles Barron has registered with the City’s Campaign Finance Board to again run for the city council – a seat he held from 2001-2013 – when he was term-limited out.
Barron then swapped seats with his wife, Inez Barron, who preceded him in the assembly and is now in the city council.