Amazon Reportedly Reconsidering Its NYC Headquarters Amid Fierce Opposition

Anna Jefferson
February 10, 2019

One of the people said a complete pullout from the project in Queens was unlikely.

Amazon executives responsible for the company's planned move to create a headquarters on the East Coast appear to be rethinking their decision when it comes to the NY location.

The fact that there has been no procurement of office space and no approval of the promised incentives would make a withdrawal of the NY option relatively easy.

It's possible the reported threat to leave could be a negotiating tactic, the Post said.

The information comes from a source involved in the discussions, but one who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the subject, combined with a heightened sensitivity on the matter.

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This much is certain: The plan to give Amazon tax breaks of $3 billion to come to Long Island City has been met with resistance and backlash from some local groups and politicians, nearly since the day it was announced that the area was co-winner of an RFP process that attracted more than 200 proposals from across North America.

Fearful of losing almost $3 billion in subsidies for its expansion in New York City, Amazon has moved to a new strategy, one involving threats.

Meanwhile, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the deal Friday.

Alphabet Inc's Google said in December it would invest more than $1 billion on a new campus in NY, becoming the second major technology company to pick America's financial capital to expand and create thousands of jobs. "People are realizing that the jobs are not for them", said Deborah Axt, the co-director of Make the Road New York. The financial incentives NY lavished on Amazon to lure the company there also troubled some liberals.

"Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world's biggest corporations? Yes, they can", she wrote.

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Meanwhile, New York's final approval for the headquarters isn't expected until 2020. Amazon also selected Nashville to host a 5,000-person "center of excellence" for its operations business. In November, the company announced the other half of the HQ2 project would be located in Northern Virginia.

The deal hasn't closed yet.

The deputy majority leader of the Senate, Michael Gianaris, who represents the Queens district, is against the deal, saying the multi-billion-dollar company does not need state subsidies, and that local residents weren't consulted. In an interview with Fox Business, an Amazon spokeswoman stated that the company is "focused on engaging with our new neighbors", adding: "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".

Cuomo admitted that the community surrounding the site is "nervous", but he says the 25,000 jobs that Amazon has promised to create are worth any inconvenience.

Emanuel and now former Gov. Bruce Rauner had joined forces on a $2.25 billion incentive package aimed at luring Amazon and offered up ten sites in an around the downtown area.

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