Amazon Skips Building Headquarters In NYC Following Community Backlash

Anti-Amazon HQ2 protesters
Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City section of the Queens borough of New York, U.S., February 14, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Amazon has just announced that it will no longer build a new headquarters in New York City, citing disapproval from both state and local politicians as well as community members.

According to CNN Business, Amazon spokeswoman, Jodi Seth confirmed the news in a 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," she said.

The statement further noted that some local and state politicians "have made it clear that they oppose our presence," adding that these political figures, as well as some residents in the area, refused to collaborate with the company to help fulfill its visions.

The plan to build an office in New York was initiated by some of the city's political officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo. They previously said that Amazon's arrival would boost employment and benefit the local economy.

However, details about the deal emerged and other political leaders rallied to go against the $1.525 billion incentive fund that the city offered to get Amazon into its web. Critics pointed out that instead of opening career opportunities, the project could endanger the homes of long-time residents.

While the tech giant faced criticism, other politicians were disappointed with the way Amazon handled the backlash. Some of them expressed frustration due to the retail giant's decision to drop the project instead of finding a way to solve or compromise with the community's complaints.

Among the disappointed political figures is Mayor Bill de Blasio. He said in a tweet on Thursday, "Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity."

After the announcement, other American states expressed interest in allowing the tech company to enter their market. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Newark is a great choice for Amazon as the city is "on the rise."

New York stated that it is still open for business as DeBlasio and other politicians who want the deal to go through continue to hope that the mammoth retailer would reconsider its investment. However, the company has declared that it will stop its HQ2 search for now and will instead focus on growing its Virginia base.

Meanwhile, Sen. Michael Gianaris, one of the key players in the battle against Amazon's HQ2 plans in NYC, has spoken out on the issue, stating that the city actually has the power to stand against companies that could affect grassroots groups.

In an interview with The Guardian, Gianaris made it clear that "Amazon is not bigger than New York." He further explained that the efforts of anti-HQ2 groups and individuals helped keep NYC from adding up to the states that allow for increased wealth concentration in the United States.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts