New York Is Having Second Thoughts About Amazon’s Second Headquarters
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Feb 10, 2019,
Feb 10, 2019, 0:17
Amazon executives responsible for the company's planned move to create a headquarters on the East Coast appear to be rethinking their decision when it comes to the NY location. The suggestions made by Katz included census tracts that contained properties he'd pitched to Amazon months earlier, according to four people familiar with the process.
Amazon also said it would build a new operations center in Nashville, Tenn., that will create more than 5,000 jobs.
"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbours - small business owners, educators, and community leaders", it said. New York - Long Island City, specifically - was selected as a co-winner, along with land in Northern Virginia, in November.
Amazon shares closed down 1.6 percent on Friday. Amazon is already finding this out in its home city of Seattle, and it's running into opposition in NY because numerous people there don't think it fits.
But other lawmakers representing New York City have raised concerns about the $3 billion in tax incentives and the rent increases expected to accompany the arrival of its headquarters. The financial incentives NY lavished on Amazon to lure the company there also troubled some liberals. They say the influx could push out existing residents and add to congestion on the already overcrowded subway.
If Amazon is reconsidering its Long Island City campus, it's not telling close partners on the project.
"I would be happy not to have them", said Terri Gloyd, the co-owner of the LIC Corner Cafe. Multiple parties reached out to Amazon to make sure that they know Chicago would still want them.
Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, said she too would welcome Amazon back.
Amazon is reconsidering opening part of its second headquarters in NY after fierce opposition from lawmakers, according to a new report. Amazon has said publicly - most recently at a City Council hearing on the subsidies - that it opposes union drives at its warehouses. Amazon is notoriously unfriendly to unions.
NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter Friday to comment on the reports. Back in November, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the project as one benefiting a large outside corporation over local NY residents. Council Speaker Corey Johnson criticized Amazon last week for pitting workers against one another.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who helped bring the project to his state, on Friday offered his support for Amazon and called out local politicians for opposing the plan. The state gave them massive tax breaks to try to keep them around, gutting the local government's budget and shifting to burden to the taxpayers, but the company wound up nearly entirely leaving anyway.
That year-long search could be starting all over again. "As far as they say to us, everything is great, they're excited about NY, they're working hard to get to know the community and move things along".
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. The company is hiring lobbyists and a "community affairs manager" in NY, so it's clearly still committed to the deal at some level.