(Bloomberg) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the prospect of Amazon.com Inc. bringing tens of thousands of jobs was “mission critical.”

“We had a real live choice to make -- 25,000 to 40,000 jobs, many of them good paying, that New Yorkers really want and that would be available to a wide range of New Yorkers,” De Blasio said in testifying to the New York State Assembly’s Joint Fiscal Committees. “We want to build up our tech community, so to me it was mission critical that this city get those jobs rather than other cities.”

The mayor said the city had considered other sites before ultimately selecting Long Island City in Queens as a potential future location of Amazon’s 4 million-square-foot new corporate campus. It became clear during the process, however, that Amazon preferred the Long Island City site, on the Eastern shores of the East River, across from Manhattan. The neighborhood is one that has been developing, and Amazon presented an opportunity to generate “more things we care about: jobs, affordable housing, fixing our infrastructure,” he said.

Amazon’s process in selecting a site for its new offices pitted New York against cities across the country, de Blasio noted, a process that wasn’t ideal. “We believed that, through careful tracking of the competition, there were several other cities poised to win,” he said. “And we had to strike the right balance.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Schuetz in New York at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at fmcroberts1@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz

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