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Rensselaer tries to woo Amazon for new headquarters

October 17, 2017 11:22 PM

RENSSELAER - Overlooking Rensselaer's riverfront on the Hudson River across from downtown Albany sits acres of empty land. 

“There's 23 and a half acres there ready to go,” Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer said.

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Dwyer said the city is working with Albany and the Center for Economic Growth on a bid to convince the world's largest online retailer - Amazon - to build its second headquarters there. 

“So the whole thing would be on the river and part of it in Albany I understand will also be on the river,” Dwyer said. “So it's very, very doable. It's a perfect spot.”

“It's growing,” Cugino’s Pizzeria owner Lewis Oliver said. “And you can see it a lot. People are more excited to see stuff going on here.” 

Amazon said the location must have a strong labor pool, and be business friendly as well as close to an international airport. 

Dwyer pointed out that Rensselaer has its own train station and Albany International Airport is nearby. 

He said the five billion dollar project could bring 50-thousand jobs to the region, which people would be eager to have. 

“We need the jobs in this area,” Dwyer said. “We need the jobs desperately.”

Oliver, whose store is on Broadway in Rensselaer, said he is excited about what the project could do for local businesses like his. 

“That would probably generate 50-thousand more customers for me,” he said. 

Rensselaer resident and Albany barbershop and supply store owner, Giuseppe Federico has mixed feelings. 

“It'll definitely bring jobs to the area but it might hurt the little guys if they can't deliver on time you know,” he said. 

Those familiar with the project said the Center for Economic Growth is planning to propose multiple sites in the Capital Region: not just Rensselaer. 

Dwyer is rooting for his city. 

“It'll put Rensselaer on the map too,” Dwyer said. “It's a game changer for Rensselaer if we get it.”

The application for the proposal is due on Thursday. 

Dwyer said Amazon is expected to announce their decision sometime in December. 

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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