Amazon Nixes “New York City Headquarters” After Hostile Reception

Business, Media, Politics
Reading Time: 3 minutes

New York City policy makers went to lengths to work out a deal to make the Queens location as attractive as possible for Tech giant Amazon, which was aiming at adding a second headquarters.  Amazon announced its interests in an additional headquarters and cities around the country went courting for them.  They offered huge tax deals and other incentives to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the New York area.  However, some elected officials, including newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a self avowed socialist, announced the tech company was not welcome, especially with how much the local governments had to provide in order to get the deal closed. After constant criticism from Ocasio-Cortez and others, Amazon has decided to look elsewhere for its next headquarters.  Many believe this next process will be more discreet than the dog and pony show that led to the Queens debacle.

Here is the statement, today, from Amazon’s blog:

“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.

“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts. 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 difficult.

“We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.”

In the statement, Amazon did not drop names of those that led the charge against them, but simply say they were vocal enough to make it very difficult to have the kind of long term relationship necessary to make this effort work.  In its closing remarks, Amazon said “Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.”

“We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time” means it does not plan on doing it in the same way they did the first time.  The need for expansion for Amazon is as great as ever.

Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the decision:

It is being estimated that 25,000 jobs in NYC that were expected by this deal, will simply not happen.


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