Mounting pressure against Amazon’s planned second headquarters in New York has led the e-commerce giant to scrap its ambitious project.
In a statement released Thursday, the Seattle-based company announced the decision to forgo building a home in Long Island City, which was expected to bring 25,000 corporate jobs to the area and speed along the redevelopment of the formerly industrial neighborhood. It was intended to be one of two future headquarters sites, along with Crystal City, Va., following a yearlong competition that saw major cities including Atlanta, Dallas and even one Canadian metropolis vying to house the retailer.
However, New York’s state and local leaders clashed over the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives the company would stand to gain in return, and City Council lawmakers scrutinized the deal in a series of hearings that began late last year. (Separately, during a news conference last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the state Senate’s resistance to Amazon’s plan “governmental malpractice.”)
In its statement issued today, the e-tail giant explained, “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 percent 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.”
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Amazon added: “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.”
The company further noted that it now employs more than 5,000 Amazon workers in the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island boroughs, and intends to continue growing those teams, though it gave no further specifics about its plans for New York.
Amazon did state that it will not reopen the search for another location but will move forward with its Virginia headquarters as well as offices in Nashville, Tenn.
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