On Thursday, Amazon decided against plans to open a headquarters in New York City.
In announcing their move, Amazon released a statement detailing their reasoning:
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.
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.
As Amazon’s statement mentions and the New York Times reports, the proposed headquarters was not welcomed by some of the more liberal, progressive side of the political aisle. Almost assuredly, they didn’t appreciate Amazon’s anti-union stance and the government incentives the company would’ve have gotten, if the deal would’ve been successful.
Several prominent New York politicians expressed their feelings on the news from Amazon.
We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will. https://t.co/VLU17ULrUo
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 14, 2019
Governor Cuomo's statement re: Amazon —> pic.twitter.com/39e2UYB7Rw
— Jason Conwall (@jasonconwall) February 14, 2019
Statement from Cuomo:
“Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. 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 nearly $30 billion in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements. Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany’s nanotech center.
However, a small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.
The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here — our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism — remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State.
“The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here — our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism — remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State.”
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
Amazon is paying $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.
$0 for schools.
$0 for firefighters.
$0 for infrastructure.
$0 for research and healthcare.
Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public? https://t.co/IdsuKaVOTU
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019