After facing opposition from New York City leaders, Amazon won’t build a second headquarters in New York.
The company also says it won’t re-open the search for another location, but will move ahead with plans to build other headquarters in Virginia and Nashville. The headquarters was expected to bring thousands of jobs to New York.
In its statement, Amazon writes: “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.”
Company leaders add, “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.”
Last year, when Amazon announced its plans to bring a split of its second headquarters to New York City, Governor Cuomo called the decision “a big transformative move for our economy to take another step in the tech sector.”
Last week, as reports surfaced that Amazon was reconsidering the deal, the governor ripped state senators who he blamed for tripping up the agreement. “The State Senate is trying to stop Amazon from coming to Queens. Amazon is the largest economic development program that this state has ever won. It was a national competition where states all across the nation were vying for Amazon. There is no business that brings 25,000 jobs anymore. They don’t exist. I spend days trying to bring a business that has 100 jobs, or 200 jobs.”
In a statement, the governor again put blame on the State Senate, writing: “Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements… However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.
“The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here – our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism – remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State.”
Full statement from Amazon:
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 reopen 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.