Amazon announced Thursday it will not build its second headquarters in New York City amid growing opposition to the project.
The online retailer faced opposition from some New York politicians, who were unhappy with the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives Amazon was promised. The Seattle-based Amazon had planned to bring 25,000 jobs to New York, and spend $2.5 billion building its offices. Amazon said Thursday it does not plan to look for another location, and will continue to build out offices in Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
The Amazon debate had caused a rift among some Albany Democrats, with Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart Cousins, of Yonkers, accusing the governor of trying to divide the party after the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a series of progressive measures over the past month.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio recently told lawmakers at a state budget hearing on local government funding that the type of high-paying jobs the Amazon deal could bring to Queens are the kind the city needs to expand its technology sector. Amazon has said it would bring at least 25,000 and as many as 40,000 jobs to the Long Island City neighborhood over 10 to 15 years.
Reacting to Amazon pulling the plug on its planned headquarters, De Blasio said in a statement: “We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity.”
The project’s cancellation comes days after Breitbart News’ Lucas Nolan reported that the e-commerce behemoth had begun to reconsider building the headquarters due to ongoing opposition from New York officials. In a carefully worded statement to the Fox Business Network, a spokesperson for Amazon said the technology giant was “focused on engaging with our new neighbors,” adding that “Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be.”