Economy

Amazon reportedly reconsidering NY location amid growing resistance movement

Amazon reportedly reconsidering NY location amid growing resistance movement

According to a new report from The Washington Post, two anonymous officials have disclosed that Amazon might be backtracking on its plans to build a new headquarters in the New York City borough of Queens.

"If Amazon is reconsidering getting out of its plan to open a headquarters in NY, as has been reported by the Washington Post, we welcome the opportunity to talk further with the e-commerce giant", he said Friday.

While all of that is happening, Amazon floated this pullback from NY, citing how "welcoming" politicians in Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee have been in handing over public money for its site locations.

Amazon did not immediately reply to a request for comment. NY is known for being a solidly pro-labor city and the e-commerce giant has been the focus of several protests.

Amazon may end up deciding that its plan to split its East Coast HQ2 between NYC and Virginia isn't worth the trouble.

This past month, a leading critic of NY subsidies for Amazon's plan to build a second headquarters in Queens was nominated to serve on a state board with the power to reject the project.

At the outset of its search past year, Amazon said it was looking for a business-friendly environment.

The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.

The Citibank building, the site of a new workplace for Amazon employees, is seen in Long Island City of the Queens borough of NY, U.S., November 14, 2018.

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Amazon hasn't built any structures nor finalized any land leases in NY as of yet, and likely wouldn't until 2020.

What appears to have happened here is that Amazon paid more attention to the incentives offered by NY than in making sure that the neighborhood they planned to occupy was a proper fit. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans.

The world's most valuable public company may not bring 25,000 new jobs to New York City after all, the Washington Post reports. On Monday, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins chose Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat who represents Long Island City, and one of the biggest critics of the Amazon deal, as one of three members of the board.

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

The company's brass had to endure a series of hearings in the City Council in recent weeks, in which politicians blasted Amazon's record on labor issues and its refusal to accede to a unionization drive at its Staten Island distribution center.

New York - Long Island City, specifically - was selected as a co-winner, along with land in Northern Virginia, in November. He further added that Amazon wanted to "be part of the growth of a community where our employees and our company are welcome". In Amazon's case, that means highly-paid tech workers, but for other businesses it could means something else.

The Legislature and governor would have to sign off on a New York City-only millionaires tax.

Sure, Amazon shimmied into Virginia and got everything it wanted.