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  • Amazon recently announced the top 20 cities for its second headquarters, HQ2.
  • The tech giant claims HQ2 would create 50,000 jobs in the to-be-determined city.
  • HQ2 sounds like a great opportunity for New York, but it could contribute to a rise in housing prices, as well as population and transportation woes.

In mid-January, Amazon named New York City as one of the top 20 contenders for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. The campus is expected to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to the chosen North American city, and Amazon said it will invest $5 billion in HQ’2 construction.

At first glance, it sounds like a sweet deal. But if HQ2 came to New York, with its influx of tech workers, the campus could exacerbate several problems that already plague the city, including high housing prices, overpopulation, and gridlock — all things Seattle, Amazon’s home, has seen since the company arrived in the late 1990s.

A shortage of housing stock and commercial space

New York City has proposed 26 million square feet across three boroughs as possible sites for HQ2. In response, seven local community organizations signed an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos listing several concerns, including out-of-state hiring, unaffordable housing, and gentrification.

Their worries about higher rent prices are not unfounded, according to a recent report from real estate website Apartment List. The site made a few predictions about HQ2’s potential impact on housing prices in 15 major cities based on historical home-building statistics and data from the US Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the report, the city could see an additional annual rent increase of 0.1% to 0.2% if HQ2 comes to town. Already, the median rent surpasses $3,000 per month. Considering that the average rent in New York City increases around 3.7% annually, HQ2 Read More Here