New York Is Having Second Thoughts About Amazon’s Second Headquarters


Fox Business reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is beginning to reconsider the construction of their second headquarters in New York City following opposition from both city and state officials.

The Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon executives have had internal discussions to reassess the situation in ny and explore alternatives, citing two people familiar with the matter.

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", one of the sources who spoke with The Post said.

In response to a request for comment, Amazon appeared to commit itself to the NY project, though didn't explicitly say so. The company also said that it will "separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City's Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City's Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP)". According to the story in the Post, Amazon has not leased or purchased space for the NY location, and legislative approval for the incentive package there isn't expected before 2020.

Cuomo admitted that the community surrounding the site is "nervous", but he says the 25,000 jobs that Amazon has promised to create are worth any inconvenience.

Prominent critics include Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D), Deputy Leader of the City Council James G. Van Bramer (D), and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael N. Gianaris (D).

Could political resistance to, what critics denounce as "corporate welfare" in NY create an opening for Chicago to re-enter the Amazon sweepstakes?

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So, Amazon may be really thinking about pulling back on the New York HQ2 move. NY residents fear the same will happen to them. But the only South Side site to which the Amazon team returned for multiple site visits was the South Loop mega-site known as "the 78".

In November, Amazon announced plans for a new campus in Long Island City, Queens where it would employ 25,000 people in one of two major new offices planned after a national competition, the other going to Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to raising concerns about the tax breaks given to Amazon, critics have noted that the company has said it would not support employees who seek to unionize. No specific plans have been made to abandon the New York City headquarters so far. Amazon has said publicly - most recently at a City Council hearing on the subsidies - that it opposes union drives at its warehouses.

Contrast the opposition in NY with the welcome in Virginia, and you can see why Amazon executives are reconsidering their choice.

Amazon may not deliver a new headquarters to New York City and that could mean big moves for CT. In Amazon's case, that means highly-paid tech workers, but for other businesses it could means something else.

Sure, Amazon shimmied into Virginia and got everything it wanted. But apparently New York's population is different, and that threatens those people.