Amazon Just Pulled Out of the Long Island City Deal
The Amazon's Westchester-adjacent "HQ2" facility will no longer be built following pushback from local legislators and residents.
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Following news that Amazon was reconsidering its Long Island City campus amidst local pushback, The New York Times is now reporting the company has officially pulled the plug on the massive planned campus.
The Jeff Bezos led company attributes the decision to opposition by what it says are a minority of state and local politicians.
The proposed campus was planned to bring approximately 25,000 jobs to the metro area, in exchange for around $3 billion in state and city tax incentives. Interestingly, Amazon states it is not currently planning on reopening the HQ2 search, but will instead proceed with just its remaining sites in Tennessee and Virginia.
Read the statement released by Amazon:
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 re-open 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.
John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester, reacted to the news by issuing a statement lamenting the economic setback of the news. "Beyond being a huge loss for the entire region, Amazon's exit sets a terrible precedent for other corporations looking to relocate or expand here," Ravitz says. "We do not want to send the message to these companies that they are not welcome. This perception is something that we will now have to work even harder to dispel."
Other groups, however, supported the announcement. Jamila Brown, the New York-based Communications Director for international consumer watchdog group SumOfUs, called the news "an incredible victory for communities across the country who have been resisting this corporate behemoth since day one." She adds, "Jobs are important, but not if they come at the cost of people who are struggling to get by. New York should take the more than $3,000,000,000 in tax incentives it would have given to Amazon and invest that money in our communities."