AP/Beth J. Harpaz
- Amazon announced on Thursday it has canceled its planned HQ2 project for New York City.
- Local opposition, including the New York city council, heavily opposed the deal that had been struck between Amazon and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- The company will not reopen its search for HQ2, it said, but will proceed as planned in Virginia and Nashville.
Amazon has canceled its HQ2 project for New York City, the company announced on Thursday in a blog post.
"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 wrote.
The company had announced back in November that it would bring 25,000 jobs to a large campus in a western section of Long Island City, Queens. Now, the program has been completely scrapped.
Amazon said it made the decision because "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."
Local opposition to the deal sprung up quickly after the deal was announced. The New York City Council, and specifically speaker Corey Johnson and member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district where HQ2 would have been, were outwardly critical about the company’s decision to accept tax breaks from the state to the tune of $3 billion and circumvent the land-use process.
Here’s Amazon’s full 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. 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% 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.
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. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.
We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts. 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 difficult.
We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.
Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.
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