April 24, 2019

Amazon may be rethinking plans for New York City headquarters

09 February 2019, 05:10 | Joann Bryant

Amazon may be rethinking plans for New York City headquarters


Unlike in Virginia and Tennessee, where legislators emphatically approved and incentivized the building of Amazon HQ with millions of dollars in project investments, a group of NY legislators and unions are banding together in disapproval.

The newspaper on Friday said that opposition from local politicians may have caused Amazon to reconsider its deal to bring a second headquarters to Long Island City.

A recent Amazon-commissioned poll shows that about 69% of registered voters in NY approve of the deal, but The Washington Post's report reveals that the vocal opposition may be enough to convince Amazon that it makes more sense to put its headquarters in a city that wants it.

However, the proposal was criticized by residents and local government officials, such as State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and others, who felt the deal was pushed through behind closed doors without local input or City Council approval.

In response to a request for comment about the report today, an Amazon spokeswoman shared a brief statement: "We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors-small business owners, educators, and community leaders".

Amazon has been derided by some NY politicians, who have been critical of the project and its almost $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.

Announced in November, the HQ2 locations in LIC and Crystal City, Virginia, marked the culmination of a nationwide pageant where cities across the country vied for Amazon's favor.

"It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to stop sound governmental practice", Cuomo said.

Fearful of losing almost $3 billion in subsidies for its expansion in New York City, Amazon has moved to a new strategy, one involving threats.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who campaigned against the subsidy package, celebrated the news that Amazon may be reconsidering the whole deal. At a recent panel discussion about lessons learned from the process, Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, did not mention any specific feedback he'd received from Amazon officials about South Florida's bid The event was sponsored by the Miami Herald. Kirsten Gillibrand said she was concerned by the lack of community input. One point of contention could be Amazon's opposition to labor unions.

Friday afternoon, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer tweeted, "Hey @amazon, heard many NYS leaders oppose deal for your 2nd headquarters".

The Spheres is an Amazon work site in Seattle.

Mayor Bill De Blasio, who has also championed the Amazon deal, responded to the company's stance on unionization by saying, "This is my message to Amazon: Welcome to New York City; This is a union town".

At the outset of its search previous year, Amazon said it was looking for a business-friendly environment.

The source said New Jersey officials have not been given any indication that Amazon is considering moving out of NY. NY residents fear the same will happen to them. What benefit the company would actually get was unclear. "A major problem is the way the deal was put together shrouded in secrecy and ignoring what New Yorkers want and need", he said in a statement.

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