Jump to the main section.





A snapshot of the Capital Region pitch to Amazon

CEG Amazon Rensselaer cropped

Today is the day that cities and metropolitan areas all around the country are offering themselves up to Lord Bezos as his empire looks to build an off-world colony beyond Amazon Prime in Seattle.

The Capital Region is one of those metros, and the Center for Economic Growth has posted an overview of its pitch. It centers on a a potentially massive new complex spanning the Hudson River at Albany and Rensselaer. A clip:

With Amazon specifying an interest in a downtown or urban location with a layout similar to its Seattle campus, CEG's centerpiece proposal is the Amazon Promenade. This downtown headquarters would straddle the iconic Hudson River, with a capacity for 2 million square feet of office space in the City of Albany's 25-acre site between the Times Union Center and Broadway and an additional capacity for 6 million square feet on 75 acres directly across the Hudson in the City of Rensselaer. The Albany and Rensselaer sites could be connected with a pedestrian bridge across the Hudson, water taxies and/or a gondola.

There are a handful of renderings -- and we've pulled them out for easy gawking. The online pitch also argues the region's case in terms of aspects such as education, housing affordability, natural disaster susceptibility, and crime.

The assimilation of the Capital Region by the Bezos is a low probability event -- this place is competing against pretty much every other relatively large metropolitan area in the US and Canada. That said, here are a few very quick thoughts...


They're at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

A few things

Sure, laugh, if you want
This whole process is kind of absurd. But there are people whose literal job it is to pitch the region for this kind of stuff. Should they have just sat this one out because it's improbable and/or the competition was too stiff? What would the reaction have been if leaders here came out publicly and said something along the lines of, "Yeah, we're not bidding because we have no chance." They would have gotten criticized for that, too.

At least no one here sent Amazon a cactus.

Other ways
Of course, it is a very long shot. And if a ton of effort went into this pitch, let's hope the ideas and plans and connections developed can be used in other ways.

Also: This process should have prompted an honest assessment of why this area is a long shot for projects like this, and whether/should anything be done to address those shortcomings.

Maybe one good thing to come out of this is a very public acknowledgement that there could be ways to better link Albany and Rensselaer. The two cities are so close geographically, but sometimes it feels like they're miles apart because of the way the current connections between them work (or don't work).


We already have so much congestion in traffic, why would we want Amazon in this city. Look at Seattle, even the residents there are taking a breath of relief that the second HQ wont be in there city anymore. Besides the monetary growth to the city, I would hate to have millennials flock here and see taxes and home prices surge to NYC levels...

I dunno, I'd hate to have anything successful that could solve our problems.

The biggest reason why the would never sit here (or anywhere in upstate NY or Canada): winter. It's one thing to not be able to get products in to somewhere, quite another not being able to get out. This distribution center will probably end up in Virginia or North Carolina.

Do we know if the unused portion GE site in Schenectady was considered? Lots of vacant land, the grid, plumbing, and accessibility is all there. Seems like it would be the perfect site.

We’ll need a commuter rail system if this is going to work.

Down with the naysayers! It's sad that you have to put in a "never gonna happen" disclaimer. No one should be laughing. I'm proud to know our hat is in the ring. Thanks Center for Economic Growth! We need some economic growth around here. As for the last commenter, I'd love to see my property value skyrocket. And I welcome millennials too- we need to give graduates of our local colleges a reason to stay and work here. Besides, our city needs some new life to blow out the cobwebs! There are too many stodgy old farts around here!

I applaud CEG for submitting a bid on a regional basis!

(Aside from Global Foundries, i would have hyped the high profile tenants at the Nanotech complex, the East Greenbush SUNYA campus and mentioned GE in the present tense (GE Global, GE Digital, GE Power), rather than just the Edison reference)

What is absent from the Amazon criteria is an international airport---Smallbany thinking is to blame.Somehow the two other regional airports ( tiny Newburgh(140,000 passengers per year) and Hartford have true international flights (Norwegian Air, Air Canada, Allegiant, Aer Lingus, Spirit). Albany at 1.388Million passengers per year has none. Jet Blue only flies to its tourist destinations in Florida. To fly between two Jet Blue cities like Seattle and Albany, you have to fly SEA to Boston, have a long layover and switch to a very small Cape Air flight. you cannot book the 6 1./2hr flight to SEA on a Jet Blue flight from ALB. (Well you can if you can dedicate 15 hrs of travel time, use Cape Air with layovers in boston and JFK.!) Southwest has 4 flights a day to SEA.

Seems that we are on the cusp of truly developing....hope we all continue to work toward a more vibrant region.

The rendering includes land east of the Times Union Center which would include 48 Hudson Avenue, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Not to mention the fact that traffic patterns in that area are already horrible. New jobs are always welcome, but not at any expense.

I don't think anybody is proposing that this project necessitates demolishing 48 Hudson. It's just concept art.

More giant river blocking concrete, poorly designed monstrosities?

Perhaps they'll add a megaplex cinema to this cockamany idea.

Wow what a pipe dream that a private company unrelated to government or health care could end up in this area. I think our biggest selling point is our central location, beautiful architecture in Albany, Troy, Saratoga and Schenectady, local colleges , wonderful train station and airport, good road system, plentiful work force, as well as our general relaxed way of life. Seems like a no brainer for Amazon. Dare to be great...it might happen to you! Couldn't even imagine what the south end or Clinton Ave or the warehouse district could become!

This proposal will do more harm to local Albany and Rensselaer residents than it will good. Developing a huge corporation on what is currently public lands and the Albany City Bus Station will not stimulate downtown. It will make it harder for folks to see the natural beauty of the Hudson River, and construction is a messy process. Why would we want more of that?
Is it the jobs? The jobs argument is hollow. Amazon's wages and working conditions have a bad reputation. The money coming into the business wouldn't go to the Albany area, it would go to already very wealthy people. Amazon is constantly in labor disputes, and bringing them here doesn't show support to the local workforce.
Where will the bus station go? Where will people walk along the riverside? This proposal is not good for the vast majority of Albany residents. It is a good resume builder for the administration, but at the expense of the residents at large. It'll be great for those reaping the profits and career points, but it will be bad for the middle and working class, bad for the environment, and bad for the city overall. It's a proposal to export money, cheapen local labor, give a corporation public waterfront property, and inevitably dodge taxes.

Where will the bus station go??? How will people walk along the river???(I'm down there most days and am usually the only PERSON.) who needs jobs??? The pay is low???? The CITY will be crowded??? Beam me up Scotty! Where do I live when people think like this??? I can only hope these posts are meant to be sarcastic.....but I really can't tell!

We will all know this won't happen but if a miracle happens and Amazon chooses capital region as its second headquarters, that would be biggest thing that has ever happened in this region.

What a fantasy.

There is less than a 0% chance Amazon will come here. The politicians (Dwyer in particular) are delusional. I can’t believe any time, effort or money is be spent

Seems an extreme way to get Amazon to pay for the Gondola.

If they didn't try to submit a proposal, CEG would be raked over the coals for not doing their job. Ask for what you want or take what you are given.

Pretty clear that they needed to do this proposal to fulfill their basic mission. I think it's fine. It's preliminary concepts demonstrating how the space is available to meet the company's needs.

I really applaud the creativity thought behind trying to attract Amazon. Having a behemoth like them here, being led by someone like Bezos, could really lead to a fantastic waterfall effect on the region at-large - attracting restaurants / businesses / amenities, building up infrastructure, etc.

As always, the naysayers are concerned with adding a minute to their commutes from the office back to the suburban castle away from the riffraff.

Considering that Amazon would employee nearly 5X the number of people that currently work at the Empire State Plaza, I think it's safe to say that we'd have a drastic re-imagining of roads and transportation in the area. Maybe you'll get that exclusive personal lane added to the highway after all.

So glad that CEG recognized the need for the bike and pedestrian connection. I know, just a rendering, but that bridge won't fly with Army Corps or coast guard because it would choke the river traffic below its low draft. My broken record pitch for the Livingston Avenue Bridge walkway remains.

My comment is speculative - assuming it's any lower than the dunn memorial - which needs a terrifying array of ramps to get to the deck - ramps that render access by bike or the disabled an impossibility.

In the insanely unlikely event that Jeff Bezos decides to bestow this gift of prosperity and modernization to the Capital Region, I personally promise that 48 Hudson will be disassembled piece by piece by a team of archaeologists and reassembled and restored on the roof of the Albany Institute of History and Art. The Central Warehouse will be turned into a parking garage (killed two birds with that one) and covered with non-offensive murals. After the rest of Amazon employee parking is planned out, we'll put in an *extra* 5,000-space subterranean parking garage only usable by Albany residents. It will be covered in a green roof / public park with an unobstructed view of the Hudson. I-787 will be completely removed and replaced with a Hyperloop. Albany *International* Airport will finally live up to it's name. The State will put billions into high speed rail to the city. Property values all over the Capital Region will soar, making all existing residents wealthy. The few, most curmudgeony residents opposed to any type of progress or improvement to the city they claim to love will be relocated to a nice farm on a hillside filled with nice soft rabbits to pet.

No. Too much of the waterfront in Rensselaer is just given away. I say if amazon wants into albany (which, get real, they don't) they can pay to bury 787, use that land, and keep the access to and use of the albany waterfront public.

Would love to hang out with Paul and plan this whole thing! LMAO

I know of 77 acres in Voorheesville. Good access to 90/87 and the airport

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine