Amazon may end NYC headquarters plans due to backlash

09 February, 2019, 17:08 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Amazon rethinks plan for New York HQ amid fierce opposition, report says

The World's biggest retailer is reportedly exploring potential alternatives to building its new headquarters in New York City due to backlash from local opposition, a person briefed on the matter said on Friday.

According to the Post story: "Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, said the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the company's perspective".

Amazon has been derided by some NY politicians, who have been critical of the project and its almost $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo framed the original announcement as a tremendous job creation opportunity for the entire New York region. A third city, Nashville, won an Amazon operations hub with 5,000 workers. "For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice", he said.

It noted that it's working with its "new neighbors" in Queens, including small business owners, educators and community leaders. Of this $1.525 billion, up to $1.2 billion could come from a refundable tax credit through New York State's Excelsior Program and a $325 million cash grant from the Empire State Development fund. It also ignited a frenzy over real estate in both cities.

FILE PHOTO - 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.

"The Amazon deal is now officially on the rocks", former NY attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout wrote after Gianaris was appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board.

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Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. "For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice and if they stop Amazon from coming to NY they are going to have the people of NY to explain it to".

The initiative has faced loud opposition from the Long Island City neighbourhood, who say that Amazon's expansion could bring more crowded subway stations, an overburdened sewage system and rent increases that would drive out long-time residents. Even before these subsidies, New York City has been struggling to fund acceptable public transportation and affordable housing.

And while city lawmakers have spoken out against the deal, Mayor de Blasio doesn't believe they are completely opposed to the possibility of thousands of new jobs in the area.

"The mayor fully expects Amazon to deliver on its promise to New Yorkers", said his spokesman Eric Phillips in a statement. "It's not over, but I'm proud of the values we fought for".

Fearful of losing almost $3 billion in subsidies for its expansion in New York City, Amazon has moved to a new strategy, one involving threats. Kirsten Gillibrand said she was concerned by the lack of community input. Plus, adding 25,000 high-paying jobs to this corner of Queens will only make gentrification worse, activists warn.

NY also offered up to $505 million in subsidies.

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