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The New York Post reports that Amazon is buying what used to be the flagship Lord & Taylor store on Fifth Avenue in New York City for $1.5 billion.

According to the story, "The Fifth Avenue landmark, which spans 11 stories and 660,000 square feet, will serve as Amazon’s New York City headquarters, housing several thousand employees in the coming years, a source close to the situation said."

Some context from the Post:

"That’s a switch from the plan two years ago, when the former department-store space had been leased by WeWork to become the office-sharing startup’s own headquarters. WeWork’s plans fell apart last fall, when the company became engulfed in a slew of scandals that derailed its bid to go public.

"Indeed, the lion’s share of the deal consists of Amazon paying off $750 million in construction loans taken out for WeWork’s lavish renovation of the space, sources said. The remainder consists of more than $350 million in equity for the building’s current owners.  WeWork has waived any economic interest in the building in exchange for getting out of the lease."

Amazon, of course, had other plans for New York - it wanted to build part of its HQ2 campus in Long Island City, in the borough of Queens, about three miles east of the Fifth Avenue location.  But those plans were abandoned in the face of political opposition.

KC's View:

Amazon is going to invest a ton of money into a Fifth Avenue location, in a part of Manhattan that really didn't need it as much as some sections of Queens.  I understand why there was resistance to Amazon from neighborhood activists, but I have to wonder if some of them will be looking at the dollars changing hands just three miles away with a little bit of envy.