Some Amazon employees bought NYC condos before news of HQ2 location emerged: report

At least two Amazon employees reportedly purchased condos in a New York City neighborhood before news emerged that the area had been picked to host the company's second headquarters.

The employees decided to buy units in a new 11-story condo building in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens just before the first reports of Amazon’s HQ2 location were released this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

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While employees of companies are barred from buying or selling stocks based on information that has not yet been made public, lawyers told the Journal that they were unaware of any such ban affecting real estate transactions.

Amazon announced last week that it would be splitting its second headquarters between Long Island City in Queens and Arlington County, Va., ending months of jockeying between cities and speculation of where the tech giant would land.

There are no exact numbers on how many units have gone into contract in the Long Island City area since the announcement, but the Journal reports that one brokerage firm sold nearly 150 units just last week, 15 times its normal volume.

Amazon will receive more than $1.5 billion in performance-based incentives from New York, including one tax break in which the state will pay $48,000 over the course of 12 years for each of the 25,000 jobs that the office will bring.

Some leaders in the area are angry that New York is willing to fund a project that will contribute to gentrification and make the area more expensive for residents.