February 14, 2019
Amazon has dropped plans to build a second headquarter in New York City — citing local and regional political opposition.
Freshman House representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had been critical of the project, citing union issues and possible displacement of families due to construction.
The sprawling headquarters slated for Long Island City, Queens had pledged to employ about 25,000 people in exchange for $3 billion in local and city tax benefits.
The New York location, which culminated in a widely publicized two-year search by Amazon to locate a second HQ to its Seattle headquarters, had met increasing local political pushback since its announcement. Critics argued against spending tax dollars to support one the wealthiest companies in the world.
“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,” Amazon said in a statement.
The ecommerce behemoth said moving forward with the project required “positive, collaborative relationships” with state and local elected officials.
Amazon said that while polls indicated 70% of New Yorkers supported the headquarters, a number of state and local politicians “made it clear” they opposed the idea and would not work with the company.
“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,” Amazon said.
There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and Amazon said it plans to “grow” these teams.
Amazon said it does not intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time, and would proceed as planned office locations in Northern Virginia and Nashville.
“We will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada,” said the company.