Amazon is pulling out of a planned headquarters in New York City, after its massive corporate campus garnered fierce opposition.
In a lengthy statement, the company blamed the decision on criticism from local politicians.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Richard De Blasio, who were instrumental in luring Amazon to Long Island City, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. They have drawn fire from local officials and community activists for sidestepping the usual public process for approving such projects and arranging the deal behind closed doors.
The reversal comes just three months after the project was first announced. In November, the online giantof its yearlong search for a location for its so-called HQ2. It said it would split the site between New York and northern Virginia, bringing about 25,000 high-paying jobs to each location in exchange for generous tax incentives.
These incentives became a major sticking point for the project’s opponents, including several city and state politicians. By some calculations, the headquarters could have cost New York City and state over $3 billion, roughly equal to the amount the company said it was investing.
Pro-Amazon politicians lamented the news and what they said would be a loss of jobs and cash for the city.
“This will be not just a major revenue loss for the city and state, but a loss of thousands of high paying jobs for New Yorkers, and a missed opportunity to further transform New York into the tech capital of the world,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat whose Queens district is adjacent to Long Island City.
Amazon said it does not plan to reopen the search but rather will continue to hire at its existing facilities and in Virginia, where its new development has been welcomed.
This is a developing story.