Amazon said to be reconsidering New York City headquarters

Posted February 11, 2019

The Post cites two anonymous sources who say Amazon has had internal discussions on whether to keep HQ2 in NY or whether to look for another location.

One of the people reportedly questioned "whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project", according to the Post.

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.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who campaigned against the subsidy package, celebrated the news that Amazon may be reconsidering the whole deal.

The source said the article could be a trial balloon for either side: It could be the NY community sending a signal to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, or it could be Bezos testing the waters.

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Of course, Amazon has heavily researched other cities and may still be in conversation with some of them for potential future sites.

On the other hand, Amazon has significant backing in the form of Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Protestors unfurl anti-Amazon banners during a New York City Council Finance Committee hearing on January 30. After learning about this possible stall, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Twitter that the state is in talks with Amazon about possibly moving the headquarters to CT. The $5 billion investment is expected to create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with over 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington.

In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it was working to engage with New Yorkers, but did not discuss whether it would change its plans.

At a contentious City Council meeting last week, Amazon's public policy director Brian Huseman touted the deal's benefits for the city, but also said that Amazon wants to invest in a "community that wants us".

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The Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Michael Gianaris, who represents the Queens district, is against the deal, saying the multibillion dollar company does not need state subsidies, and that local residents weren't consulted.

Amazon has taken heat from a range of public officials, including the aforementioned Ocasio-Cortez, as well as state Sen. And if it's presented with the plan, will have the power to veto it, as first reported by The New York Times. But we can promise that Dallas is a welcoming city and that HQ2 (or are we on to HQ3 now?) would find Dallas more welcoming than NY has been.

On that point, let's not forget that Amazon-and de Blasio and Cuomo and the EDC-is in the middle of a heavy public relations campaign to win over the public.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Since Amazon announced its plans, homebuyers had signed 132 contracts in the neighborhood as of February 3, his data show, up from 40 signed in the same period a year earlier.

Amazon has hired a lobbying firm and a public relations firm in NY and recently advertised for a "senior community affairs manager" to "focus on developing a positive partnership with local stakeholders, community groups and nonprofits". Deals that would receive nearly no scrutiny, like U.S. Steel winning $47 million in tax breaks from impoverished Gary, Indiana, now make headlines.

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