Amazon announced on Thursday that the built of its New York City headquarters was stopped. The company had originally planned to build its second headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Moreover, since about 25,000 jobs were lost, most of them will be spread across 17 of Amazon’s corporate offices and tech hubs in Boston, Vancouver, and Denver.
Meanwhile, New York will get a small portion of the new jobs created but it is unclear how many exactly since the jobs were scheduled to be created over a 15-year period. This is a major setback for New York since Amazon’s new location and additional workforce were expected to further accelerate the city’s economic growth. Amazon said:
“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.”
However, an Amazon spokesperson stated that the company will continue to create jobs in Seattle, as well as in Northern Virginia – for its planned site near the Pentagon, and in Nashville.
City and state leaders have initially agreed to provide $3bn in incentives to secure the investment, but they met fierce backlash in some quarters. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio welcomed the project, as did a majority of New Yorkers.
However, the project was opposed by unions, members of the City Council, and others, mainly due to the billions in incentives promised to Amazon as well as the risk of rising rents – as it had previously happened in Seattle. After the decision taken by Amazon on Thursday, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer stated:
“When our community fights together, anything is possible, even when we’re up against the biggest corporation in the world. Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city and state forever.”
Even though polls showed support from the public, Amazon did not wish to engage in any battles that could possibly damage its consumer-focused brand.