Published: Fri, February 15, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters

Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters

J.B. Pritzker are moving quickly to try to take advantage of Amazon's decision to drop plans to open a second headquarters in NY, asking the company to "take another look at Chicago".

Graffiti painted on a sidewalk by someone opposed to the location of an Amazon headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018.

Amazon said that while polls showed that 70 percent of New Yorkers supported their plan and investment, several state and local politicians made it clear that they opposed their presence and would not work with them to build the type of relationship required to move forward with the project.

The New York Democrat is also scheduled to speak at a forum Thursday night at Harvard's Kennedy School. It was set to receive $3 billion in city and state subsidies for the NY base, and said the campus would create more than 25,000 jobs.

In a February 14 statement obtained by The New York Times, Amazon said opposition from several state and local politicians caused the company to reconsider its decision.

This morning Amazon made public their cancelled plans to create a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, New York. They've suggested that they intend to "continue growing" the teams of employees they've got in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, all "over 5,000" of them.

On Thursday, Amazon blamed officials for torpedoing its plans.

City Council members scheduled hearings at which they grilled Amazon officials about the company's labor practices, its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide facial recognition technology and other issues.

"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".

One key figure in the fight against the company's proposed entry into the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens is Rep. Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected Democrat from NY. Earlier this week, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that The Constitution State was already in talks to reach out to Amazon. "Had they all just framed the tax incentives as, these are things any company in this geographic location can apply for and we'll see what happens, amazon could have gotten 80% of the money without any controversy", he said via text. Each city was expected to have more than 25,000 workers over time.

At the time of Amazon's initial announcement in November, Ocasio-Cortez angrily took to Twitter to voice her opposition.

Another part of Amazon's statement also actively failed to recognize a key criticism of its whole process: that there was only supposed to be one choice of a second headquarters for the company but it announced two, surprising everyone and leading to accusations that the corporate giant was trying to have its cake and eat it.

Nashville, which was awarded a 5,000-person center, also said it was open to taking on a bigger role should NY withdraw from consideration.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio consistently supported the plan, but other elected officials in New York City, New York state, and New York's congressional delegation criticized Amazon's arrival. 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 hard.

In the end Amazon chose to split the so-called HQ2 between Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia, and open a smaller office in Nashville. "Amazon now has the opportunity to join in Newark's story of a city on the rise". "You have to be tough to make it in New York City", he tweeted.

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