Economy

Amazon pulls out of plans to build headquarters in New York City

Amazon pulls out of plans to build headquarters in New York City

High-level executives with several Amazon teams were notified within the past few weeks that they would have to relocate to NY, which caused unrest, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The deal would have meant an estimated 25,000 new jobs for the city.

Others like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive freshman Congresswoman from NY, hailed Amazon's withdrawal as a victory for members of the community who protested the deal in recent months. Amazon cited that opposition from state and local politicians as a critical reason for canceling the project, saying it required "positive, collaborative relationships" to undergo such a large project that would be built over a decade. 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.

Some people who praised the pullout included references to the wealth of Amazon's chief executive and founder, Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man with an estimated fortune of about $135 billion, while many who saw the decision as a blow to NY cited the loss of potentially tens of thousands of new jobs. "Rather than seriously engage with the community they proposed to profoundly change, Amazon continued its effort to shakedown governments to get its way". It pledged that the 25,000 jobs that will be added over 10 years at its so-called HQ2 in the Long Island City neighborhood will include new hires from "across the five boroughs" and with "all different levels of education". As a practical matter, that means calling off just one agreement, in MS, though two years ago the Trump Organization said it had as many as 30 potential deals in the pipeline. She said Walmart was forced to give up coming to New York City after similar opposition from union supporters. If elected officials in Nashville and Northern Virginia have learned anything from this fight, we hope it's that offering corporate welfare to giant companies with highly questionable records of social responsibility is a mistake.

"This whole process shows why Amazon would have been a bad partner for NY".

Thursday's announcement was a serious blow to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who lobbied intensely to land the campus within city limits. Something that did not escape Gov. Cuomo.

As reports emerged late last week that Amazon was reconsidering NY, multiple HQ2 finalists began reaching out to Amazon.

Last week Amazon executives tested the waters by speaking anonymously to The Washington Post about ditching its entire plan.

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New York, as arguably the capital of world commerce, will be fine without Amazon, others said.

Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick called Amazon's decision "a stunning development".

The company said it will not reopen the search process "at this time. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and almost $30 billion in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements", Cuomo said in a statement.

It's the next twist in the Bachelorette-style contest that began more than a year ago when Amazon began searching for a location to build a second headquarters, with cities across the United States competing for Amazon's business, wooing the company with whispered sweet nothings and billions of dollars in tax breaks.

The Seattle-based Amazon had planned to bring 25,000 jobs to NY, and spend $US2.5 billion ($NZ3.6b) building its offices.

"We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion - we love NY", the company said in a blog post, adding that it already has 5,000 employees in the city and plans to grow those teams.

Furthermore, the statement read, "there are now over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams". The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so hard.