Amazon is coming to the Hamptons. The announcement was made at 11 a.m. this morning by Greg Applebottom, the Vice President in Charge of Location Headquarters, in a press conference in Seattle.
“We were kind of hoping—fingers crossed—that the location of our Northeast Headquarters would not be New York City. That offer was hanging by a thread when we received it, but the $3 billion tax incentive was too hard to refuse. Now that a couple of outspoken people in New York City have let out a squawk, we’ve been able to let that offer go and take the offer from the Hamptons, where all the billionaires summer. We are told the welcome here will be unanimously approved. Indeed, I have also been informed that when we cut the ribbon for the pushing-down of the first shovel of dirt, that event will be followed by a parade that will wend its way all the way from the Westhampton Country Club to the Montauk Downs Golf Links.”
Applebottom was referring to the main enticement that was offered, which was the donation of the property upon which all 12 golf courses in the Hamptons currently stand. As agreed, all 12 will be closed up and turned over to Amazon for the building of their warehouses and shipping hangars. Those golf courses are Westhampton, Shinnecock, the National, Southampton Golf Club, Sebonack, Noyac, the Bridge, Poxabogue, the Maidstone, the East Hampton Golf Club, Sag Harbor, the Amagansett Golf Club and Montauk. Also Quogue, if it ever gets built.
“One of the sticking points in our negotiations that might have killed this deal,” said Mayor Hickenlooper, standing next to Applebottom, “was the fact that we just don’t have the open space anywhere for such a huge facility. Everything is either downtowns, residential, public parks or farmland, much of which has had its development rights purchased so they can never be built upon.”
“The Mayor is a genius, coming up with this,” Applebottom said, putting his arm around Hickenlooper. “And getting it approved—what a feat! An end run around the town council.”
The warehouses and shipping buildings will each be easy-to-assemble Butler Buildings, 30 feet high, entirely enclosed in corrugated aluminum sidings and easy to erect, so it will be possible to be ready for occupancy by May of 2020. Each will be five million square feet in size, and a total of 20 buildings will occupy each golf course. All 20 will be connected by enclosed walkways at ground level and high-power electric cables overhead. And all will bear names remembering the golf courses. So the warehouse request might go out for Maidstone 13, and everyone will know where that is.
“We know golfers are avid sportsmen,” Hickenlooper said, “so each former golf course clubhouse building will be preserved and used for Amazon’s mid-level executives. Almost all are elegant and historic. Also preserved will be the former golf courses’ driving ranges and pro shops, though six days a week it will be for the use of the Amazon executives—but every Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. will be Former Members Day, and those people can come, pending security checks, of course.
Hickenlooper used a pointer to indicate the finished Amazon regional headquarters buildings on a screen at the back of the stage.
“The pro shops will be converted to little holding cells where employees who don’t perform well are held overnight,” Applebottom continued.
“This will also be great for Riverhead,” Hickenlooper said. “Amazon will be building a new company correctional facility on the property next to the Riverhead Jail, where merchants who get less than two stars for their order refilling abilities will be housed while awaiting trial. Hooray for Riverhead.”
Hickenlooper next talked about Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, of which he is most proud. He called “Long Wharf”—now to be “Much Longer Wharf”—the deal clincher.
“We were this far apart,” Hickenlooper said, holding his right thumb and index finger about two inches from each other.
Long Wharf is to be taken over by Amazon and lengthened from the 300 feet that it is now to one and a half miles, in order to be able to accommodate all the freighters and tankers that bring material in from Europe, Asia and the rest of the world that is not currently sanctioned. Drones will then carry each package to the designated warehouse, which will clearly be marked on the roof—for example “Amagansett 22.” The name is on the roof shingles of all the warehouses on the former golf courses. Next to the chimney.
“That will alleviate this extra traffic on our highways,” said Mayor Hickenlooper proudly. “And the most important thing is jobs, jobs, jobs.”
There will be 50,000 new jobs created for the local people in the Hamptons. These jobs, working in the packing warehouses and dispatch warehouses, will be guaranteed for 10 years, after which the job totals will decline as the robots take over.
“Even then there will be jobs,” Hickenlooper added. “Maybe not as much. But these robots need to be polished and oiled every few hours, they have to be taken on walks twice a day through the communities—on leashes of course—and who do you think will be the robot walkers? Us!”
All this will come at a cost, of course. The Hamptons was in a bidding war with not only New York City, but with Boston and Pittsburgh and New Utrecht. Also Buffalo, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Burlington, Vermont and Lowell, Massachusetts.
“Hampton Taxpayers during the next 10 years will each be assessed an additional $200,000 per year—this is a democracy, so everyone will have to do the exact same fair share. No favoritism here.”
Applebottom smiled, amused. He recounted the offer made by Lowell, one of the poorest cities in America. “Every resident in Lowell was to be grabbed by the ankles and turned upside down to see what coins rolled out of their pockets,” he said.
“Not democratic,” Hickenlooper said.
“In exchange for this $1.3 billion tax gift from the Hamptons,” Applebottom said, “we’ve agreed that if something is ordered and either not picked up, refused, returned as disabled or whatever, Amazon will donate it all to food pantries and St. Joseph’s Clothing Bins, or just at random by our robots and drones waddling and soaring throughout the community.”
“You forgot to mention about the airports,” Hickenlooper said.
“Yes. Both airports will be purchased by Amazon to insure that they never close. Indeed, we will double all the runway lengths, and of course we will be adding 300 invisible but swirling drone vortex cones that attach to the sky. Over 2 million drones a day will be coming down and going up, so it might from the ground look like a herd of locusts or bats. Progress! But we’ll be careful. In every case, these vortex cones will be on the fringe of each airport, opposite existing invisible helicopter vortexes, to avoid accidents.”
The two men shook hands.
“Oh, and you forgot about the headquarters building,” Hickenlooper said.
“Yes indeed,” said Applebottom. “The main headquarters will be at Montauk Point. We intend to raise up the lighthouse building 100 feet and slide under it an all-glass rectangular building for the private use of the top executives and Jeff Bezos, our founder. And of course, the loud hooting noises the lighthouse makes when there is a fog will be discontinued whenever Mr. Bezos is in residence. It is enough we are raising it up 100 feet. At 100 feet, we think boat owners won’t give two hoots if we turn the sound off from time to time.”
“And there will be no warehouses at the Lighthouse,” the Mayor concluded.
“No, not a one,” Applebottom announced. “Montauk Point is a sacred historic site.”
“And there will be jobs, jobs and jobs.”