After the location was announced in November, there was fierce opposition from many politicians and local activist groups, including from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Many reacted negatively to one of the richest companies in the world set to receive an estimated $3 billion in tax credits, according to a deal reached by the state and lauded by Governor Andrew Cuomo as “the largest economic development project signed in the state’s history.” Last week, the Washington Post published a report stating that Amazon was reconsidering. After Amazon published their statement, Representative Michael Gianaris, whose district includes Long Island City, criticized the company.
“Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves,” Rep. Gianaris told the Times. “The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions.”
This story is developing.
Read Amazon’s full statement below:
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 disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture — and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.
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.
We do not intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time. We 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.
Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.