The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 21 September, 2021

Amazon Drops New York For Hq2 Reports

Christina Perez
• Monday, 28 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Demonstrators in a Long Island City park in Queens, New York, protest the planned AmazonHQ2 office on Nov. 26, 2018. To those who opposed the exchange of tax breaks for jobs, the new Hudson Yards space is something of a victory.

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An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that the new office space will open in 2021 and house employees from its consumer and advertising teams. Even so, in a separate tweet, Ocasio-Cortez argued the 25,000 job Amazons promised “was a 10-20 year fantasy” rather than a firm commitment.

New York State Senator Michael Granaries, who represents the Long Island City district, echoed Ocasio-Cortez's statements in an interview with CNBC's Andrew Ross Working Monday. Even though the jobs won't come to his district specifically, Granaries said Long Island City is doing just fine without Amazon.

Facebook signed a lease for more than 1.5 million square feet of office space, the development announced in November. The company is looking to expand further in Manhattan, according to a separate Journal report on Friday, which said Facebook is in talks to lease about 700,000 square feet of space in Midtown.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who pushed back on the HQ2 deal, claimed the decision as something of a victory since the expansion did not yield the $3 billion in performance-based incentives state and local leaders promised Amazon in exchange for 25,000 jobs. The company issued a statement shortly before noon saying it did not intend to reopen its search for a second headquarters at this time but would continue with plans to put at least 25,000 jobs in Arlington County in Northern Virginia and 5,000 in Nashville.

The decision was a stunning reversal for Amazon, which badly miscalculated how it would be received when it announced in November it would put half of the 50,000 jobs promised in its much-publicized HQ2 search in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) had celebrated the project, and opinion polls showed large majorities in favor of it, a strong backlash quickly developed.

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“Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon ’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she tweeted. But some opponents said Amazon should have stayed in New York and made concessions, such as promising not to oppose efforts by its employees to organize unions.

Arlington County Board Chairman Christian Dorsey (D) said an Amazon representative confirmed that “nothing has changed” regarding the company’s plans in Northern Virginia. In answer to a question, Dorsey acknowledged that New York opponents’ success in blocking Amazon was likely to encourage Virginia critics, who are not nearly as numerous.

Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity.” We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. “Jeff Bezos had the opportunity to listen to the voices of working families and support the good-paying jobs New Yorkers deserve,” Marc Person, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said in a statement.

With little opposition, Virginia has already passed a law granting Amazon up to $750 million in state incentives over the next 15 years, on the condition that it create 37,850 new jobs over that period. Grass-roots opposition to the deal was evident at two New York City Council hearings, where activists booed Amazon executives and unfurled banners criticizing the company.

Van Kramer and other critics assailed Amazon for company wide policies such as having a nonunion workforce and for partnering with firms that work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “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,” the company said.

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Julie Samuel's, executive director of the industry group Tech: NYC, said the decision was a reminder that despite the city’s growing economy, “there is no guarantee we will maintain this status in the future, which makes this news so disappointing.” “It’s especially disappointing given the overwhelming local support for the deal and there can be no doubt that bad politics got in the way of good policy here,” she said in a statement.

Even though Amazon said it wasn’t looking to shift the 25,000 New York jobs to a single spot, the announcement prompted suitors to renew their pitches to the company. Maryland offered Amazon more than $8 billion in state and local incentives for 50,000 jobs when Montgomery County made the list of 20 finalists in the HQ2 contest.

Shortly before Thursday’s announcement, Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez said he had reached out to Bezos through two intermediaries and was waiting to hear back. (Geekier Photo / Monica Nickels burg) Amazon is canceling its plans to build a 25,000 person office in New York City in an extraordinary twist to the HQ2 story that has dominated the news for more than a year.

Instead, Amazon “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,” according to the statement. The opposition movement grew and scored a major victory last week when Granaries was named to an oversight board with the authority to torpedo the deal.

(Geekier Photo / Monica Nickels burg)Richard Florida, a high-profile urbanist who has been critical of the AmazonHQ2 search since the beginning, said Thursday’s announcement revealed the tech giant’s “true colors” in a tweet. The results lined up with a December poll by Quinnipiac University that showed 57 percent of registered New York City voters approved of the deal.

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Earlier this week, Geekier sat down with Victor Hopkins, director of Arlington Economic Development who helped lead the HQ2 bid for Northern Virginia. 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 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. 1of26FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, a rusting ferryboat is docked next to an aging industrial warehouse on Long Island City's Unable Basin in the Queens borough of New York.

Amazon said Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, that it is dropping New York City as one of its new headquarters locations. Mark Lesbian/AP Show MoreS how Less 4of26Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images Show MoreS how Less 5of26 Yearly intake in 1999: “60 Minutes” says “last year, Amazon sold more than $600 million worth of merchandise over the internet.” “There were two great themes of the year, online shopping and dot-com mania, and the minute we thought of Bezos it was obvious that he embodied both” the magazine wrote.

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As the “60 Minutes” crew walks past the “pawn shop and the porno parlor, the wig store and the down market teriyaki joint, we didn't see anything that seemed vaguely cutting edge.” Later in the year, they would move into Seattle's famous hilltop orange tower, Pacific Medical Center.

Matthew Rutledge, Flickr Show MoreS how Less 12of26 The offices in 2019: Are so cutting edge tourists take pictures out front. Screenshot Show MoreS how Less 14of26 Amazon interiors 2019: Again, they have public tours of the offices now, they're that famously nice and specifically designed.

Barry Sweet/Associated Press Show MoreS how Less 19of26 Amazon products in 2019: Now in addition to selling all that plus books, they also make their own e-readers, tablets, home devices, and more. REUTERS/Any Song / via Business Insider Show MoreS how Less 25of26According to a “60 Minutes” report, Bezos was worth about $9-10 billion.

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images Show MoreS how Less 26of26 Bezos' worth in 2019: $138.8 billion, give or take. J. Scott Apple white/STF Show MoreS how Less Amazon has decided not to build a new headquarters in New York, the Seattle-based online retail giant said Thursday.

In a statement, Amazon officials said their decision came as state and local politicians opposed the retailer's presence 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,” the statement read.

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“We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.” The statement went on to say the company will not search for another HQ2 at this time, and will proceed as planned in northern Virginia and Nashville.

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