In a recent turn of events, e-commerce and tech giant Amazon has announced that is scrapping all plans to construct a corporate headquarters in New York City.
As reported by the New York Times, the company had previously announced plans to build a sizeable campus in Long Island City, a redeveloped industrial area situated along the East River in Queens, New York. This new campus was part of Amazon’s HQ2 project. In September of 2017, Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters, aptly named HQ2.
For more than a year, the company received proposals from over 200 cities across Mexico, the United States, and Canada, all vying to be the location for Amazon’s second headquarters, which would house approximately 50,000 workers — and in turn, bring 50,000 jobs to the area. Late last year, the company made its decision.
As previously reported by CNN, Amazon made the decision to split their new campus across two cities — Arlington, Virginia, and New York’s Long Island City. The company pledged to invest $2.5 billion for each city (to cover construction costs) and sought to bring 25,000 jobs to each proposed campus.
While the decision was received with enthusiasm and criticism from residents of both cities, the proposed deal was met with strong opposition and criticism from local lawmakers in New York City, who took issue with the number of tax breaks and subsidies Amazon would be receiving. As the New York Times notes, in exchange for building a headquarters in Long Island City, Amazon would be receiving just shy of $3 billion in city and state incentives and tax breaks.
Amazon’s decision to scrap the proposed campus comes as a major setback to both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Despite their ongoing political feud, the two leaders cast aside their rocky relationship, working together in order to convince Amazon to settle down in New York City.
Amazon released a statement explaining its decision to cancel the construction of a New York City campus.
“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,” the statement reads, in part.
At the time of writing, the tech giant has not announced if it has plans to relocate the proposed campus to another city.