New York City-based JetBlue Airways announced its plan to launch a nationwide search for a location to create a new, unique, and lower cost headquarters operation that would also allow the company to solidify its brand identity.
NYCEDC led an interagency team which put together an innovative package, resulting in JetBlue’s decision to establish a new headquarters location in Long Island City, Queens. Although rents in other possible locations were lower, the New York City team developed a package of investments and assistance tailored specifically to JetBlue. The package consisted of as-of-right benefits, discretionary tax incentives, and valuable marketing and branding assistance including co-branding with the world-renowned “I LOVE NY” brand and officially naming JetBlue New York’s Hometown AirlineTM. A particularly notable marketing arrangement developed by the NYCEDC team, was the idea that JetBlue could add its name to New York City’s skyline through a rooftop sign. JetBlue officially opened its Long Island City offices in April 2012, combining the company’s 900 Forest Hills, Queens crewmembers (the airline’s term for employees) and its 70 Darien, Conn. crewmembers in the new location. JetBlue’s new headquarters brings up to 200 additional jobs to New York City and strengthens the revitalization of the Queens Plaza section of Long Island City. In late August 2012, JetBlue completed construction of its headquarters’ rooftop sign, solidifying the company’s presence in New York City and a place in its historic skyline. In working with JetBlue, NYCEDC was able to create a customized package that responded to JetBlue’s specific needs and created value for both the business and New York City.