Amazon is no longer coming to New York City

Published on: 15 Feb, 2019

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is no longer coming to New York City and has canceled its planned HQ2 project.

The Company wrote, "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."

The decision was made due to "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."

New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson and member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district, were very critical about the Company’s decision to accept USD 3 Billion tax breaks from the state and how the company found its way around the land-use process. Cuomo, however, said the deal would still bring in USD 27 Billion in revenue in exchange for the incentive package.

The Washington Post reported last week that Amazon executives were considering backing out from the plans and CNBC reported, “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had warned at a news conference last week following the Washington Post report that local and regional leaders who opposed Amazon's headquarters would have to answer to voters if Amazon did not ultimately bring its 25,000 jobs to the state. “ Cuomo asked at the conference, "You want to diversify your economy? You don't want to just be Wall Street and finance?", and stated, “We need Amazon.”

The Company announced it’s not going to reopen its search for HQ2, but will continue with its plans in Virginia and Nashville.

Here's Amazon's full statement:

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.

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Derrick Leon

Email: derrick@financialbuzz.com

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