Amazon reconsidering New York HQ2 plan

09 February, 2019, 12:27 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In December, Qunnipac Unviersity polled 1,075 registered voters in New York City and 57% said they approved of Amazon coming to Long Island city, while 26% said they opposed the move.

It is unclear if Amazon truly is considering pulling its HQ2 project out of New York City - as was reported Friday morning by the Washington Post - but this much is clear: Officials from New Jersey have been courting the company for some time, selling Newark as a viable and cost-effective alternative. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seemed elated by the news story.

The company, which announced previous year that it had chosen a site in Long Island City to house 25,000 employees, has not leased or purchased office space for the project yet, making it easy to withdraw the commitment, according to the Washington Post. It cited two unnamed people familiar with the retailer's thinking.

While Virginia officials have already approved Amazon's subsidy package, things have not gone as smoothly in NY.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not at liberty to discuss the plans publicly, the people said Amazon executives have had discussions inside the company to reassess the situation in NY and explore other locales.

Amazon's development proposal lays out plans for a 4-8 million-square-foot campus, but it has not yet leased or purchased office space for the project, which is not expected to receive final NY state approval until 2020.

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The biggest threat to Amazon's LIC headquarters came when the New York State Senate appointed Gianaris to the Public Authorities Control Board, which will preside over approval of Amazon's development plan.

An Amazon spokesperson told Vox in a vague email statement, "We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders".

Ocasio-Cortez added at the time, "This isn't just about one company or one headquarters".

"It is outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town", said Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which is trying to unionize Amazon's New York warehouse workers through its branch, the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union.

One supporter of the deal Van Bramer spoke to "seemed genuinely anxious, and that led me to believe that it was real", he said. "I don't think anyone should assume that this is a fait accompli, and that this is a done deal", Johnson told Business Insider. It was one of the richest subsidy offers of the entire process - up to $7 billion from the city and state to lure Amazon.

Jimmy Van Bramer, a New York City Council member representing Queens and vocal critic of HQ2, said: "When a corporation is anti-union, pro-ICE and seeks billions in corporate welfare, we must fight back". The announcement ended a year-long, high-stakes competition to win thousands of high-paying tech jobs, in which Chicago was among 20 finalists.



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