Amazon is looking for a new dance partner for its new headquarters after pulling out of plans to develop a site in New York City.
The company announced on Thursday, Feb. 14 that it is are backpedaling out of the planned deal to construct a headquarters in Long Island City, despite overwhelming support from New Yorkers.
“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,” the company said in a statement. "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.
“While polls show that 70 percent 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.”
Reports first surfaced last week that the online retail giant was potentially backing out of its planned New York venture. Although the company had the support of area residents, some politicians have derided Amazon, who have been critical of the project and its nearly $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.
Amazon has said that the company does not currently have plans to reopen its search for a new headquarters, though they are moving forward with a second campus in Virginia.
"We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents,” the company said in its statement. “There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.”
Amazon’s decision did not go over well with all parties.
“Rather than addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised by many New Yorkers Amazon says you do it our way or not at all, we will not even consider the concerns of New Yorkers – that’s not what a responsible business would do,“ Chelsea Connor, the Director of Communications for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said in a statement on Thursday morning.
This week, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone said, “it is outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town.”
"Multibillion-dollar corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos should not be threatening New Yorkers or expect any American taxpayers to foot the bill for opening a new headquarters – whether it's in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, or anywhere else.
“Why should we subsidize the creation of 25,000 Amazon jobs when Amazon’s entire business model seeks to eliminate millions of retail jobs," he said. "The last thing we, as taxpayers, should ever be asked to pay for is the destruction of our own jobs."
With New York out of the picture, other cities may look to swoop in in an effort to persuade Amazon to bring those 25,000 jobs to its state. Earlier this week, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that The Constitution State was already in talks to reach out to Amazon.
“Upon the (first) indication – days ago – that there may be trouble with @Amazon's proposed deal with #NY, we mobilized our new Partnership to Advance the Connecticut of Tomorrow – and more specifically, @CERCInc co-chairs Indra Nooyi and Jim Smith, to construct a path forward,” he posted on Twitter. “The state has already made an outreach to @Amazon through its in-state representation, and we are looking forward to expanding the dialogue.”
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