Amazon announced Thursday that it was cancelling its planned headquarters in New York City.
What are the details?
After years of hinting and deliberating, Amazon announced in November that it was going to split its new headquarters between two locations: Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The Queens location was chosen in return for just shy of $3 billion in incentives offered by New York City and the state of New York. The state and city also agreed to change plans for the waterfront in Queens and give Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a helicopter pad.
Some local lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who represents part of Queens, had vocally opposed the deal. Proponents said that it would create 25,000 jobs, but critics worried about the companies anti-union policies.
In a statement, Amazon said:
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.
Amazon said it was "disappointed to have reached this conclusion," but that it was "deeply grateful to Governor [Andrew] Cuomo, Mayor [Bill] de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process."
State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D), who opposed the headquarters, celebrated the cancellation.
"Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves," he told the New York Times. "The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions.''
But Gov. Cuomo (D) was meeting with Amazon executives and union leaders as recently as Wednesday, trying unsuccessfully to preserve a deal between Amazon and the city.