Buyer's Remorse? Amazon Could be Getting Cold Feet in NY

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On Friday, the Emanuel administration reached out to Amazon after the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reported that the company was reconsidering its decision to locate half of its second world headquarters in ny because of political resistance to the state's $2.8 billion incentive package.

Executives at the company recently met to reassess setting up shop in Long Island City, as pols and activists continue to rail against the controversial new campus, the Washington Post reports, citing two people "familiar with the company's thinking".

Amazon did not immediately respond to GeekWire's request to comment.

Amazon may end up deciding that its plan to split its East Coast HQ2 between NYC and Virginia isn't worth the trouble.

Amazon has not purchased land for the NY project and its agreement with the city and state is non-binding. They say the influx could push out existing residents and add to congestion on the already overcrowded subway.

An article in the Washington Post suggests Amazon is growing impatient with pushback from certain public officials and could pull the plug on the deal to put its next headquarters in Queens.

Amazon has not yet closed deals on NY property and thus still has the chance to back away from its initial plan if it wants to.

Unfortunately, there is a vocal minority of New Yorkers who are convinced that Amazon will be a neighbor that they don't want.

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What appears to have happened here is that Amazon paid more attention to the incentives offered by NY than in making sure that the neighborhood they planned to occupy was a proper fit.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, one of several labor unions that has been critical of Amazon, said it was "outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town". The state gave them massive tax breaks to try to keep them around, gutting the local government's budget and shifting to burden to the taxpayers, but the company wound up nearly entirely leaving anyway.

One reason for the big difference in whether Amazon is welcomed or not lies in the nature of the locations where the new headquarters would be.

Announced in November, the HQ2 locations in LIC and Crystal City, Virginia, marked the culmination of a nationwide pageant where cities across the country vied for Amazon's favor. Amazon also selected Nashville to host a 5,000-person "center of excellence" for its operations business.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who campaigned against the subsidy package, celebrated the news that Amazon may be reconsidering the whole deal.

At a contentious City Council meeting last week, Amazon's public policy director Brian Huseman touted the deal's benefits for the city, but also said that Amazon wants to invest in a "community that wants us".

"Structured in the right way, this type of development would bring tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to the South Side and provide an influx of new economic activity into some of Chicago's most disinvested neighborhoods". Michael Gianaris and New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Sure, Amazon shimmied into Virginia and got everything it wanted.

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