Amazon Pulls Out of New York City Plans After Backlash

15 February, 2019, 06:45 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Why Amazon Gave New York City the Kiss-Off

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City section of the Queens borough of NY, U.S., February 14, 2019.

The state is losing a $2.5 billion investment and $10 billion in estimated long-term tax revenue. The Nashville office is expected to have 5,000 employees. But the online retailer eventually settled on splitting HQ2 between NY and National Landing in Arlington, Virginia - placing 25,000 employees in each location. Inc's decision on Thursday to scrap its proposal to locate a second headquarters in the Queens borough of New York City ignited a sea of dueling reactions on Twitter, with some calling it a victory for working people while others said it meant that fewer people would work. Instead, the e-commerce giant will move forward with existing plans in Virginia and Nashville and continue to hire across its 17 tech hubs and corporate offices in the U.S. and Canada.

Amazon is reportedly looking for other options to build its headquarters, though the company remains publicly committed to sticking with New York City. The plan, which included nearly $3 billion in subsidies and tax breaks, provoked a grassroots backlash. Also, the state's Senate leader recently nominated an ardent critic of Amazon's deal to the state board that would have had control over Amazon's plan for Queens.

Amazon announced its plans for a new secondary campus late previous year, but said political reaction caused it to reconsider.

When Amazon announced its selection of the winning cities, it said part of the reason was that the Washington, D.C., and New York City areas stood the best chance of attracting the high-tech labor force needed.

"This whole process shows why Amazon would have been a bad partner for NY".

Polls had found that a majority of New Yorkers also supported Amazon's plan. Something that did not escape Gov. Cuomo.

Aisha Glover, chief executive of the Newark Alliance, which bid for the project with an incentives package of more than $5 billion from the state and city, had reached out to Amazon to make it clear "our goal is to make sure we keep it (HQ2) in the region", Glover told Barron's. And politicians are keen for Amazon to make Toronto its home away from home. "Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city and state forever", said city councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a Democrat who represents Long Island City.

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"Either they are really good poker players or they were not aware", Greenberg said of the Amazon representatives.

"We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and almost $30 billion dollars in new revenue", Cuomo said, saying it could have gone towards things like schools and infrastructure.

CCN previously reported that Ocasio-Cortez, along with a variety of other local politicians and interest groups, had spearheaded resistance to Amazon's plan to place half of its second corporate headquarters in Long Island City.

Amazon is blaming local politicians for its shock decision to abandon plans to open a new headquarters in New York City - and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's vehement opposition appears to have been the main catalyst.

Those likely not excited about today's news include those in the Long Island City real estate business.

Amazon also said that it wasn't going to give up on NY altogether: "There are now over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams".

Amazon released a statement to The Times, which states that it is grateful to some local leaders - such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so hard.

But the plan has strong support from the population as a whole.



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