Amazon reconsidering NYC location, according to report | Digital

Gladys Abbott
February 9, 2019

Amazon has not yet leased or purchased office space for the campus in New York City, and final approval of state incentives is not expected until 2020, the Post reported.

A recent Amazon-commissioned poll shows that about 69% of registered voters in NY approve of the deal, but The Washington Post's report reveals that the vocal opposition may be enough to convince Amazon that it makes more sense to put its headquarters in a city that wants it.

Following Friday's Washington Post report, Crain's Chicago Business reported that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had already reached out to Amazon officials asking them to reconsider Chicago as an HQ2 location.

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", one source told the publication. "It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy". "You're not there to play politics, you're there to do what's right for the people of the State of NY and what they did here is wrong".

Supported by the NY governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the plan has faced a torrent of opposition from elected officials, activists and unions, angry that the company is set to get up to $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies.

According to Amazon's press release, the company will also receive "performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion" for the creation of the jobs. This will include a refundable tax credit, through the state's Excelsior Program, of up to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) also opposed Amazon's expansion there, telling the Fox Business Network that his goal was to see the deal "thrown into the garbage". One point of contention could be Amazon's opposition to labor unions.

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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he hasn't heard from Amazon since the e-commerce giant broke the news to him and other South Florida officials that the region came up short in its bid to land HQ2.

"Bezos is one of those guys who doesn't like to lose, so does he fight it and win it or does he just (go) elsewhere?" the source said.

Chicago and IL officials reached out to Amazon on Friday in a renewed effort to win a 25,000-job campus that would serve as part of the tech behemoth's second headquarters.

Though, protests have been a near constant over the four months since Amazon announced its move to Queens.

"Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be", an Amazon spokesperson said in an email.

"A major problem is the way the deal was put together shrouded in secrecy and ignoring what New Yorkers want and need", he said.

"Economic development has been badly broken in NY for some time", Teachout concluded, "but this proposed deal is grotesque in its scope and audacity". "I think most of the neighborhood hasn't wanted them here".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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