Published: Fri, February 15, 2019
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Amazon.com announces no-go on NY headquarters

Amazon.com announces no-go on NY headquarters

Amazon says it's backing out of plans to build headquarters in Long Island City, Queens - possibly leaving the door open for Toronto.

One company that is planting a stake in Long Island City is Macy's, which has signed a lease to take almost 1.1 million square feet of office space in two new buildings near Queensboro Plaza. The bank had been hoping to leave a little early and hand much of its space to Amazon for a temporary headquarters; presumably, they now need a new plan.

Separately, the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents a number of New York-based Amazon workers, lambasted Amazon for its decision, which would have received a slew of city and state tax breaks and subsidies worth up to $3 billion in exchange for the jobs and investment.

"You have to be tough to make it in New York City".

Critics of the creation of an Amazon headquarters in the NY borough of Queens expressed concerns that the company would receive tax breaks that were needed to fix the subway system and that it wouldn't be an investment in the community.

Amazon on Thursday announced it has decided not to move forward with plans to build one-half of its second headquarters in New York City as originally planned.

And Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez said in a statement last week, "If Amazon is reconsidering getting out of its plan to open a headquarters in NY, as has been reported by the Washington Post, we welcome the opportunity to talk further with the e-commerce giant". However, they were divided on the incentives: 46 percent in favour, 44 percent against.

Amazon said it would "continue growing" its workforce in NY which includes some 5,000 people. The poll source was not mentioned.


E-commerce giant Amazon announced on Thursday it was scrapping plans to build its NY headquarters amid mounting local opposition, forgoing billions of dollars' worth of incentives and taking thousands of high-paying jobs with it. The company said it would not look for a replacement location, and would continue to build a headquarters as planned in Northern Virginia as well as a smaller operations facility in Nashville. "In the face of some pretty normal political opposition - and that could be debated - if you go into a place like NY, you are going to expect folks to raise some questions".

Interestingly enough, Amazon said it does not plan to reopen its search for another host city at this time. The AP reports Amazon will not be searching for a location to replace the New York City site. So much so that there are 5,000 Amazon employees here, and the company says it will continue to grow here.

"Do they [opponents] want to be known as the people who lost 25,000 jobs for New York City?"

On Feb. 14, Amazon announced it would indeed abandon its Long Island plans. "Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon's corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world".

"We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in NY over time", the company said.

Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said Amazon essentially caved to local opposition and Amazon's decision not to come won't solve long-term problems like housing affordability.

He added: "If that's the way they thought they could be a part of our community it probably wasn't going to work out anyway".

Amazon released a statement to The Times, which states that it is grateful to some local leaders - such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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