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NEW YORK (Reuters) – It was the lunch-hour rush at the Court Square Diner in New York’s Long Island City on Wednesday, and co-owner Nick Kanellos pointed to the elevated subway tracks that rattle overhead as he fretted over the news that Amazon may build a major outpost in the neighborhood. Like many long-time inhabitants, he worries how this once-sleepy enclave in Queens would absorb the up to 25,000 people the online retail giant may employ here as it expands outside its Seattle home base letter x cufflinks uk sale.
“It’s a whole soccer stadium at 8 a.m. each day coming in,” Kanellos said, gesturing at the narrow metal staircases leading from the subway platform to the street, already crowded with commuters at rush hour letter x cufflinks uk sale. Amazon announced in September last year that it was seeking a site for a second corporate headquarters that would eventually employ up to 50,000 people. But it now plans to split its new headquarters between two sites, including Long Island City, according to a New York Times report..
Amazon again declined on Wednesday to comment on its selection process. Kanellos’ apprehension was shared by other long-time residents interviewed on Wednesday on their home turf, a rapidly gentrifying area that sits just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan letter x cufflinks uk sale. Few, if any, objected to Amazon.com (AMZN.O) itself: Many conceded they were happy customers of the world’s largest online retailer, some paying for its Prime membership service. They just fear that their neighborhood is already bursting at the seams, with scores of glass apartment towers transforming an area long characterized by a mismatched jumble of low-rise buildings..
The cost of this rapid development, residents say, is that local hardware stores and pharmacies have been priced out and an aging sewer system is often overwhelmed by the more than 10,000 new apartments and 1.5 million square feet of office space built in recent years, according to city data. Kanellos, 50, took over the Court Square Diner in 1991, when it was one of the few places where the artists then using old factory buildings as studios could sit down for a cheap meal letter x cufflinks uk sale. The neighborhood’s cinematic views of Manhattan only heightened the sense it was a quiet village overlooked by the rest of New York City, residents say..
“We felt like we had the place to ourselves,” said Pat Irwin, a musician and composer who for years played with The B-52’s and settled in Long Island City in the mid-1980s. The 50-story, blue-glass tower that Citigroup built in 1990 was an early harbinger of the transformation letter x cufflinks uk sale. The reports this week that Amazon had decided to build part of its “second” headquarters here, along with an outpost in northern Virginia’s Crystal City, feels to some residents like the death knell for a neighborhood they love..