Amazon cancels plans to build headquarters in New York City

NEW YORK -- Amazon announced Thursday that it will not build a headquarters in Queens due to local opposition.

"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," spokeswoman Jodi Seth said in statement.

Last week, the Washington Post first reported that Amazon was reconsidering the plan.
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Amazon announced Thursday that it will not build a headquarters in Queens due to local opposition.

The company is not reopening their search and will re-base the jobs to Northern Virginia, the other site selected for Amazon's headquarters, and Nashville, Tennessee.

The online retailer has faced opposition from some New York politicians, who were unhappy with the incentives Amazon was promised.

The move would have brought 25,000 jobs to New York City, but many expressed anger over the billions of dollars in tax breaks and grants to the company.

Unlike New York, elected officials in Virginia have welcomed the company with open arms.

Make the Road New York issued a statement, calling Amazon's decision a "landmark victory for our communities."

"This announcement marks a landmark victory for our communities and shows the power of the people, even when taking on the world's richest man," co-executive director Deborah Axt said. "Our members and allies stood firm against Governor Cuomo's plan to give away more than $3 billion in taxpayer giveaways so that Amazon could force its empire-building on our neighborhoods...We also know that Amazon will continue to push its deeply troubling tactics, including anti-worker policies, fueling displacement, collaborating with ICE, and raiding public coffers, in other communities across the country, such as Northern Virginia, Nashville, and Seattle, and we stand in solidarity with those communities."

City Councilman Eric Ulrich was critical of those who came out against the project.

"It never ceases to amaze me how the loud voices of a few could destroy the chance at a better life for so many," he said in a statement. "Amazon had big plans in store for the borough of Queens, and we blew it! They were going to invest in our future, hire locally, contribute to the community, and make the greatest city in the world even greater...This sets a bad precedent moving forward and will deter other companies from setting up shop in our city."

City Council Speaker Cory Johnson was an outspoken critic.

"I look forward to working with companies that understand that if you're willing to engage with New Yorkers and work through challenging issues, New York City is the world's best place to do business," he said. "I hope this is the start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent. I know I'd choose mass transit over helipads any day."

Full text of Amazon 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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