Business & Finance

Christie, Booker, and Baraka Show Strong Support for Newark to be Next Amazon HQ

ee9755f42ee316138736_AmazonAnnouncement.jpg
Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker announce they are supporting Newark's bid for Amazon's second headquarters. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
ee9755f42ee316138736_AmazonAnnouncement.jpg

A bipartisan trinity of New Jersey politico firepower assembled in downtown Newark to shoot the first salvo needed to score a major economic triumph for New Jersey's largest city: the construction in Newark of the new corporate headquarters for Amazon, the world's largest online retailer.  

All three of the prime politicians in place inside Rutgers Business School on Monday - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Senator and former Newark mayor Cory Booker, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka - have ties to the city. Booker and Baraka, both Democrats, respectively was, and is, Newark's chief executive. Christie, a Republican, was born in Newark, his childhood home just off of South Orange Avenue near West Side High School, before his family left for the leafy streets of suburban Livingston. 

But Christie, on the day that he announced that he had selected Newark as the state's endorsed recommendation to be the Seattle-based retail giant’s next corporate headquarters, proved that a well-known literary adage - you can't go home again - is a lie.

Sign Up for E-News

Christie came back to Newark, fully intending to work with Booker, Baraka, and a host of other New Jersey politicians on both sides of the aisle to bring home the biggest business prize that the more-than 350-year-old city has ever seen. 

"Newark was the clear winner of this competition, and Newark has earned the state's support," said Christie, citing the city's status as a unique education, technology, transportation, and cultural hub. 

Newark now joins more than 50 municipalities nationwide that are formally bidding on the project.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, announced its solicitation of North American regions earlier this year in a highly-competitive selection process for its second corporate headquarters, or HQ2.

The opportunity could bring 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars of private investment to the state. All bids must be sent to Amazon by Thursday. 

Christie noted that the state was willing to give $5 billion dollars in tax incentives over ten years upon the creation of the 50,000 new jobs. 

"Let any other state go and try and beat that package," Christie said, also noting that the City of Newark was willing to offer a local, 20-year property tax abatement that could be worth another $1 billion dollars, and would waive its municipal wage tax to encourage Amazon to come to the city.

"Newark's renaissance can no longer be talk. It has to be action. And the final crowning achievement of that is when Newark is named this spring as the new headquarters for Amazon," Christie said. 

"Newark, New Jersey has often been maligned over the previous decades, but let's tell the truth about this incredible city. For centuries, Newark led this nation in innovation, in invention, and in industry as one of America's premier cities," said Booker, who served as the city's mayor from 2006 to 2013.

"Like all major Northeastern industrial cities, we saw tough times. But the truth of Newark in the last decade plus has been of a city charging back, and reclaiming its space, step by step, as one of America's greatest cities," Booker said. 

"Newark is not a charity case. It is the choice for companies who want to relocate and remain competitive and strong, not just in New Jersey and not just in our nation, but in a global context," Booker added.

Booker said Amazon would be smart to come to Newark because of the city's "unassailable" assets.

"We sit smack dab in the middle of the New York metropolitan region. And by Amazon locating in this great city, they will demonstrate to this nation that our inner-city spaces are not places to be avoided," Booker said.

"They are an undiscovered treasure, right here in our Newark neighborhoods, right here in America. Wherever American cities are going, Newark must get there first. Because of if we do, then the true dream of America is still possible," Booker said. 

"Newark is obviously the place that I believe that Amazon should be. There is no other place in the country where Amazon should go. Everything else is a cliche. Brooklyn sounds like a cliche, and so does Denver," said Baraka as he dissed Newark's nationwide competition. "This is one hurdle, and we have many more hurdles to go. But I believe that we have the stamina to get over all of them." 

One hurdle to getting Amazon to come to Newark won't be election-season partisan politics: gubernatorial candidates Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno have reportedly both said they will support the measure.

State legislators from Newark were also enthusiastic about the prospect of Amazon moving to Brick City

"The City of Newark has all the elements to not only meet, but exceed Amazon’s needs as it grows its operations," said state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, a Democrat who represents Newark.

“Our city is at a turning point and is experiencing a residential and commercial development boom, and we are poised to embrace the next venture that will take our city to the next level," Ruiz said. "We are the perfect fit to serve as Seattle’s counterpart in hosting Amazon’s new headquarters and we have elected officials at all levels that are committed to its success."

State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin called Newark is an ideal location for Amazon's headquarters.

"I can think of no place in America that offers the great potential that Newark does for Amazon," Pintor Marin said. "Amazon would be another key piece of the city’s already great future."

As for the current governor, Christie noted that he has just over 90 days left on top in Trenton. But Christie focused on a different number as he made Newark's case. Christie and his family left Newark 50 years ago, just before the 1967 civil disturbances, a riot to some, a rebellion to others. It was a traumatic event that almost annihilated the civic fabric of the city. But instead of tragedy and loss, Christie looked to Newark's ultimate triumph and victory in the days ahead. 

"The senator, the mayor, and I believe in this city. If the problems that [Booker] referenced in his remarks had not happened, my parents would have never left here. This is where their parents, and their grandparents, immigrated to, from Ireland and from Italy," Christie said. "My father told me years later that my mother was distraught for months when we moved. She viewed Livingston in 1967 as the wilderness. To me, to have her son be able to be part of a team that can finish this job, and bring Newark to the next level, will be very, very satisfying once it happens." 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Millburn Police Department Investigating Pair of Residential Burglaries

April 3, 2018

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Goldfarb responded to the Union Police Department on a warrant arrest. Robert Kopik, age 41 of Springfield, was placed under arrest on an outstanding criminal warrant and remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility.

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Hunt responded to a Quaker Road residence on a residential burglary. The resident reports ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11a7f47d27aa64b07388_mark-kelly-about

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly

Other

Carousel_image_df9894831d33a18d5f90_63acbe0d6361db09daf9_joel-ingersoll-jgphoto-003-1_orig

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

New Providence High School, New Providence

Parent Wellness Series: College Admission Does ...

Carousel_image_de8fa64ac3f48813f5b8_f4a28bb354e48b53f79d_images

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Lenore Raphael Presents Ellington and More at ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_343f4e7d32430a1ca3f1_renoir4

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...

Middle School Presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

April 21, 2018

Middle School presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

The Millburn Middle School Spring Musical, Shrek the Musical, will be held on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at 7 p.m.  A Sunday matinee will be presented at 1 p.m. on April 29th.

Shrek the Musical opened on Broadway in December 2008. It is based on the DreamWorks Animation’s film Shrek and William Steig’s ...

Millburn Road Closures for April 20

MILLBURN, NJ - Parsonage Hill Road closed between Long Hill Drive and White Oak Ridge Road until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Troy Drive closed to all traffic between Lawrence Drive and Troy Lane until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Old Short Hills Road has a changed traffic pattern between Silver Spring Road and Dorison Drive no closures expect possible delays until approx 4:00pm ...

Community Church to Hold Spring Rummage Sale for Charity

Community Congregational Church in Short Hills will hold its semiannual Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. All proceeds of the sale benefit Community Church’s educational and outreach programs, including the Oasis program that provides bags of groceries and baby supplies to families in Irvington every month.

“The Rummage Sale for Charity at Community Church ...