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Amazon Pulls Out Of New York Deal Due To State And Local Opposition

Amazon announced Thursday that it would cancel its New York City HQ2 project.

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Amazon Cancels New York Headquarters
photo / Monique Ly

Amazon scrapped plans for its contentious HQ2 project in Queens, New York, following backlash from local lawmakers and unions. The cancellation came after much fanfare, and a sweepstakes like fervor from city and state officials (including Governor Cuomo, and Mayor de Blasio) who made clear they were in favor of the deal.  The agreement to lure Amazon with government incentives became a subject of great debate due to a climate of high cost of living, lack of affordable housing and rapid gentrification.

The 2.8 billion dollars in incentives offered to Amazon came with promises to jumpstart the Queens waterfront, and also included a helicopter pad for CEO Jeff Bezos. The Amazon/Queens location deal came under fire and skepticism for largely being brokered behind closed doors. This lead local community leaders to petition door to door for it to be blocked.

“….. 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 Public Release

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the chorus of local politicians and advocates taking the debate to the public. In a statement, Amazon applauded Governor Cuomo, and Mayor de Blasio for their cooperation. Amazon also took the opportunity to state that (unnamed) “state and local politicians” “oppose our presence”.  

Representative Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her clear opposition and stance, indicating that she may be among the politicians referred to in the statement:

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Amazon has no plans to re-open its search for a new location, they’ll continue with planned North Virginia and Nashville locations.


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