MASTERCLASSING

Amazon scraps plans for New York City headquarters

Alyssa Clementi

After experiencing months of pushback and protests, tech giant Amazon has announced it will no longer be pursuing a New York City headquarters. Last year, both New York City and Northern Virginia were selected to split Amazon’s second headquarters, nicknamed HQ2, after the tech giant had conducted a year-long search. Since the decision was made, state leaders governor Cuomo and mayor De Blasio expressed nothing but enthusiasm for the opportunity, noting the need for economic and community growth.

Amazon ultimately decided to create its headquarters in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens. The company promised New York City that it would bring 25,000 jobs to the area, and in return, Cuomo and De Blasio planned to give Amazon almost $3bn in state and city tax incentives. Almost immediately, politicians, union leaders and Long Island City residents filled the streets to protest the corporate tax breaks and gentrification the project would bring.

Thursday, Amazon released a statement saying they had experienced enough opposition and would be cancelling the deal. The company will keep its original Seattle headquarters and continue with plans to expand into Virginia but will not look for a replacement location for the Long Island City campus.

"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," Amazon said in a statement.

"You have to be tough to make it in New York City," tweeted mayor De Blasio. "We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity."

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