JetBlue confirms plans for new HQ building in Queens

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JetBlue Airways has confirmed it will remain in the New York City metropolitan area instead of relocating to Orlando, Florida.

Previously JetBlue has said it would make a decision regarding the future location of its headquarters by the end of the first quarter, and that the low-cost carrier has narrowed its options to New York and Orlando.

Last year Orlando offered JetBlue and part-owner Lufthansa a $220,000 incentive package to open a maintenance facility in the city, contingent on the creation of 200 jobs.

JetBlue has a flight training facility in Orlando, and previously a city spokeswoman has said it would work well for a relocated headquarters for the company.

Instead JetBlue announced today it will open a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens in mid-2012, pending the execution of a lease with Metropolitan Life Insurance.

The carrier now has corporate offices at Forest Hills in Queens and at Darien in nearby Connecticut. JetBlue says it will move its Darien support center to its current Forest Hills headquarters next year. The entire Forest Hills operation will then move to Long Island City in 2012.

"After an exhaustive study to determine the best location for our corporate offices, we have decided that remaining in our hometown of New York makes the most sense for our company," JetBlue chief executive officer Dave Barger says in a statement.