Yikes – I wish I owned property in Long Island City.  I bet it just shot up like crazy in value, at least assuming the news about Amazon going there for 50% of HQ2 is accurate.
You have a confluence of:
A generally hot area.  We have a whole slew of clients doing deals there.  Indeed, it may be the most active area for development and value add deals we are seeing in the NYC area.  We are often a canary in a coal mine for both positive and negative events – since we have clients “all over the capital stack” – but I think I am not exaggerating when I say that our clients have shown more activity in LIC in the past year or so than in all other areas of NYC combined!  In this regard, I think we have done or are working on over $2B of deals there in the past year or so.  We have clients that have bought, or are buying property there – clients that are doing major office and retail lease-ups – clients that “almost” did some mega-deals out that that fell through (bummer!) – clients that are doing major developments – clients doing life sciences deals-- and much more. 
Opportunity Zone.  A large part of LIC is in an Opportunity Zone (see map), which I have said in previous articles is “the biggest thing to hit the real estate world in 30 years’.
Amazon HQ2.  And now – adding a major log to the fire – we have (probably) Amazon moving there as well – wow!
Okay that is just news – exciting news to be sure – but it is just news.  What are the implications of that news, is what I am supposed to write about as The Real Estate Philosopher.  Here are some thoughts:
LIC Will Likely Do Great:  Yes – if Amazon follows through on this it will be good for LIC – and even if not I don’t see any reason why LIC won’t continue to build on its already-existing excitement.  I admit that this is hardly a brilliant insight from me. 
This Further Establishes NYC as a Major Center of the World:   Even more importantly, this consistently validates the theme and theory that everyone – even the mighty Amazon – simply has to be in NYC!  This is a thesis I have written about before and it is not just me being an NYC humbug (which I may be a bit), it is just that NYC has become the largest talent magnet in the world.  Costly?  Yes.  Commuting troubles?  Yes.  All sorts of craziness?  Yes.  People who talk fast?  Yes.  But there is only one NYC and it has everything – financial – educational – marketing – technology – real estate – diverse groups of every single possible persuasion and make-up possible.  I could go on here, but I think you get my meaning.  Bottom line, is that if you have a global business or a national business – whether in the real estate world or not -- I just don’t see how you can survive without at least a presence in NYC.  If you think I am overstating this, consider what you would be thinking the moment that you heard that your biggest competitor just opened a NYC office and made an offer to your right-hand-man/woman or other top performer to take a job in NYC? 
Is Silicon Valley Toast?:  So Silicon Valley is the leader in tech, isn’t it?  With NYC a distant second.  But Google is here – Amazon is (almost) here – Facebook is here – Microsoft is here – and did anyone notice that Google just announced it is expanding (a lot) in NYC.  Let’s examine this a bit.  If you are a tech-gal/guy you might say that, well, Silicon Valley has more to offer than NYC in tech so why not go there.  But then if you think about where your spouse, kids, family, relatives, friends, want to be, then hmm.  Suddenly Silicon Valley – a one-trick pony in tech – doesn’t look nearly as attractive.  I have been saying this for a while – that eventually NYC will overtake Silicon Valley in tech – and this only supports that view.
In this vein, I will hearken back to a Real Estate Philosopher article I wrote about six months ago.  It talked about the idea of investors adding a talent analysis as part of their normal due diligence in buying a property, i.e. they would diligence whether “talent” was coming or going as part of the demographic analysis.  If that article seemed logical to you, then NYC would get a lot of investment points for this exact reason.
Is NYC Really Overpriced?  Finally, I will end by hearkening back to yet another Real Estate Philosopher article I wrote about a year ago that wondered whether NYC was overpriced.  In that article I pointed out that the “smart” money has been saying this for years – and missed out on half a trillion dollars of value creation in NYC.  They keep saying that “NYC pricing is crazy”; however, all those “crazy” people who have bought here are – on paper at least – up an incredible amount.  I will not be foolish enough to predict the future pricing of real estate in NYC; however, I will say that when you are valuing NYC real estate, the talent acquisition ability of NYC should definitely be weighed as one of the factors.
A Funny Opportunity Zone Coincidence:  Our (famous) Jessica Millett, who is the co-chair of our tax practice, and informally known as The Wizard of OZ (due to her omnipresence in Opportunity Zones), lives in Long Island City and when she wakes up in the morning she looks out the window and sees, yes, you guessed it, an Opportunity Zone right across the street.  So I do think it is true that she is now dreaming of Opportunity Zones every night.