(Bloomberg) -- When Sammy Musovic heard Amazon.com Inc. was coming to his Queens neighborhood, he knew what he had to do: Renovate his apartments, and get ready for the cash to roll in. Now that the tech giant has backed out, he says they owe him.
Musovic said he spent $1 million renovating the apartments in the building he owns in Long Island City, in anticipation of Amazon’s plans for a new office campus nearby. He’s threatening to sue the company over the loss of the thousands of jobs that were promised and is calling for others to boycott the online retailer.
“I was thinking Amazon was coming, that we were going to have a lot more revenue, people were going to need apartments,” Musovic said in an interview. “Now, we’re going to have vacancies because of Amazon.”
Amazon cited opposition from local politicians for canceling its plans in Long Island City. Musovic wants the company to return to the bargaining table -- or face the anger of business owners who were counting on the stream of revenue that the new high-paying jobs would bring. He’s organizing a protest this afternoon outside the Amazon Books store on 34th Street in Manhattan.
Musovic, 55, refurbished the four-bedroom apartments he owns near Broadway in Long Island City, with new kitchens, new floors and updated amenities in hopes he could rent them for at least 25 percent more than before. He said he wouldn’t have borrowed as much money or done as extensive renovations without the expectation of Amazon’s arrival.
“I took a loan out, and I got to pay it back now, and without Amazon’s help, it’s going to be a tough road ahead for me,” he said. “I was basically counting on this.”
--With assistance from Brandon Kochkodin.
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