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Amazon’s announcement this past November that it will bring one of its headquarters to Long Island City, Queens, had many in the real estate world jumping for joy.

The news set off a flurry of activity in the neighborhood with some retail brokers saying their phones started ringing off the hook from national brands looking for space while The Wall Street Journal reported people were buying residential condominium units sight unseen through text messages.

It also helped turn around a struggling Long Island City housing market which saw declining sales last year. A December StreetEasy report found that 18.8 percent of all available listings in the neighborhood saw a price hike immediately after the news broke.

Groups like the Real Estate Board of New York and the Long Island City Partnership heralded the deal as a win for the city, but at the same time, many expressed concern about the tax breaks given to Amazon—to the tune of nearly $2.5 billion—and the displacement of long-term residents by pricing them out of the neighborhood.

“The deal that’s before us, it’s so bad it cannot even form a framework,” State Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents Long Island City, told Commercial Observer. “We need to throw it in the garbage.”

“Long Island City is already the subject of gentrification that is driving longtime residents out,” he added. “This will accelerate that process dramatically.”

Gianaris was one of the first lawmakers to join the opposition, made up of local politicians, community groups and residents that quickly banded together to try to squash the Amazon deal by holding rallies and initiating petitions.

“I just don’t think a mega-corporation that is on the verge of becoming a super monopoly is healthy for our democracy and capitalism,” Queens Assemblyman and public advocate candidate Ron Kim said. “We need to invest more in our local neighborhoods, our communities and particularly small businesses. We haven’t got enough of that.”

Others opposed to the deal include Long Island City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, immigration rights group Make the Road New York, Queens Neighborhood United, the Queens Democratic Socialists of America, and labor rights group the Alliance for a Greater New York (Align).

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