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Amazon reportedly reconsiders NY headquarters amid opposition

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses Amazon’s decision to come to Queens on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.
Governor’s Office, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The promise of 25,000 jobs as part of a new Amazon headquarters in Queens could be in jeopardy because of concerns over local opposition.

Amazon is reconsidering its decision last year to announce a massive new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens amid growing pushback from local leaders and residents, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

New York won the national bidding war along with Virginia last year for the highly coveted project. New York is offering $3 billion in incentives.

But political leaders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have railed against the public subsidies and concerns about whether that section of Queens could handle the influx of people, as well as what it would do to existing residents.

Amazon, whose founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, has yet to lease or purchase office space for the New York City project, the paper reported.

And it noted that Virginia, unlike New York, hasn’t raised opposition to their planned Amazon headquarters.

There was no immediate comment from Amazon about the report.

Among the hurdles in New York is a little-known public authority that will have some say in the public subsidies promised for the project.

The state Senate recently appointed Sen. Mike Gianaris, D-Queens, to the board. Gianaris is one the most vocal opponents of the project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have hailed winning the competition last November, saying the project will be a boon for the New York City area.

“The Amazon transaction was probably the greatest economic transaction in 50 years in this State — 25,000 jobs, average salary $150,000,” Cuomo said Tuesday on WAMC, an Albany public radio station.

“It was a national competition; it went on for years. States and cities all across the country were competing for it. We don’t get a business to come with 25,000 jobs anymore. I spend hours and days trying to get 100 jobs, 200 jobs.”

Cuomo said if New York didn’t offer the incentives, Amazon would have went somewhere else, including nearby Newark, New Jersey, which offered an even larger package.

Cuomo said the state’s $3 billion will translate into a $30 billion investment by Amazon.

“I don’t see how they do that math, because we’re not giving him $3 billion,” Cuomo said of critics.

“He’s giving us $30 (billion). But take political math. We shouldn’t give it to him, then they will leave and they have said that if they are not wanted they will leave. They had hundreds of cities competing here for them. This is the wrong issue for the Senate to play politics.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2019/02/08/amazon-reportedly-reconsiders-ny-headquarters-amid-opposition/2812655002/


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