Amazon Cancels Plans To Build Headquarters In New York

Andrew Cummings
February 14, 2019

In a carefully worded statement to the Fox Business Network, a spokesperson for Amazon said the technology giant was "focused on engaging with our new neighbors", adding that "Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be".

Amazon is ditching its plans to build a new headquarters in NY after facing backlash from members of the community. It's a big reversal of its much-hyped decision to build a new headquarters in Queens after a highly publicized nationwide search.

Even as Amazon's plans to build a second headquarters facility in New York City is greeted with protests and political pushback, one of its biggest tech rivals has been quietly investing billions in heartland states that Amazon shunned for its HQ2.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Gianaris, who was one of the most vocal elected officials against the Amazon deal, compared the corporation's actions to that of a "petulant child".

Along with the support of unions, progressives made it it clear that Amazon, which planned to bring 25,000 jobs to the proposed campus, was not welcome in NY.

Amazon abruptly abandoned plans Thursday for a big new headquarters in NY that would have brought 25,000 jobs to the city, reversing course after politicians and activists objected to the almost $3 billion in tax breaks promised to what is already one of the world's richest, most powerful companies.

It continued: "We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion-we love NY, 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". The company had planned to split its second headquarters, dubbed "HQ2", between NY and Northern Virginia.

Amazon says it will not reopen its HQ2 search process, but plans to proceed with expansion plans in Northern Virginia and Nashville.

Deborah Axt, co-executive director of anti-poverty group Make the Road New York, called Amazon's withdrawal a "landmark victory". "From a broader view, this decision will do nothing to resolve the challenges associated with housing affordability voiced by critics of the Amazon decision and the generous tax incentives offered by government". Pritzker said he contacted the company about reconsidering Chicago, which was one of 17 finalists on Amazon's short list. Amazon has always been a company that disrespects workers and small [businesses].

Mayor de Blasio seemed to put blame on Amazon for walking away.

The company made a decision to split HQ2 between Northern Virginia and NY in November, and at the time suggested that it could create as many as 50,000 jobs in both regions. She said Walmart was forced to give up coming to New York City after similar opposition from union supporters.

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S., February 14, 2019.

The e-commerce giant's decision comes amid a flood of criticism from some state constituents and officials since the company announced it planned to come to NY last fall.

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