BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne woman arrives at St. Joe ER with life-threatening injuries after Home Avenue altercation Full Story

Amazon cancels plans to build New York headquarters

Article Image

Amazon is ditching its plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing backlash from members of the community. CNN's Cristina Alesci reports.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 2:53 PM


Amazon is ditching its plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing backlash from members of the community.

"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," Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement.

In the statement, Amazon noted that "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."

Follow live updates from CNN Business on this developing story

Amazon selected New York City and Northern Virginia in November to split duty as its second headquarters (nicknamed HQ2) after a year-long search. Each city was expected to have more than 25,000 workers over time.

A political firestorm

The new headquarters was initially framed by top New York politicians including Governor Andrew Cuomo as a tremendous job creation opportunity that could benefit the broader New York region. All at once, it seemed to cement New York City as a technology hub that could truly rival Silicon Valley.

After the deal was announced, however, critics blasted the $1.525 billion in incentives New York offered to lure the tech behemoth and worried that it would soon lead to longtime residents being priced out of their homes. Protesters took to the streets in Long Island City, criticizing the deal for being bad for taxpayers and the neighborhood.

Amazon's decision on Thursday was met with a mix of disappointment and jabs from politicians frustrated by the company's decision to walk away rather than engage with the community's concerns.

"You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet Thursday. "Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity."

Carolyn Maloney, a New York congresswoman, said she was "disappointed" New York would lose out on 25,000 jobs and "hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments."

"The deal could have been improved. There were legitimate concerns raised and aspects that I wanted changed. I was ready to work for those changes," she wrote on Twitter. "But now, we won't have a chance to do that."

Others like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive freshman Congresswoman from New York, hailed Amazon's withdrawal as a victory for members of the community who protested the deal in recent months.

"Anything is possible," she wrote on Twitter. "Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon's corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world."

The pushback against the Amazon deal was helped this month when New York State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, who is a vocal critic of HQ2, was recommended to serve on the Public Authorities Control Board.

The relatively unknown board weighs in on any financing and land use deals that run through public authorities, which primarily include economic development projects. It's had some success in the past blocking major projects.

Will New York's pain be another state's gain?

While New York's politicians, longtime residents and real estate investors digest Amazon's stunning reversal, officials in other states may see opportunity knocking.

Phil Murphy, the governor of neighboring New Jersey, wasted no time in calling for Amazon to reconsider his state for new offices now that New York is out of the running.

"Now more than ever, Newark is the clear choice as the next presence for Amazon corporate offices," he said in a statement. "Amazon now has the opportunity to join in Newark's story of a city on the rise."

In its statement, Amazon said it has no plans to "reopen the HQ2 search at this time." Instead, it plans to move forward with its office expansions in Virginia as well as Nashville, where it is building a new hub expected to employ 5,000 people.

That makes Virginia the clear winner of Amazon's very public HQ contest.

"We are excited that Amazon's plans for Virginia remain in place and that we can continue working together to position Virginia's dynamic tech sector for healthy, sustained, statewide growth," Stephen Moret, the CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership who helped spearhead the HQ2 negotiations for the region, told CNN Business.

Moret declined to say whether he expects Amazon to add even more jobs to Virginia now that it's forfeiting its major investment in New York.

"New York City is still open for business"

Even after initial reports last week that Amazon was reconsidering its investment in New York, top city officials, including New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, expressed confidence that the deal would go through.

Now the city must grapple with the fallout of what the scuttled deal could mean for its future as a business-friendly destination and a center for technology companies in particular.

"New York City is today one of the most dynamic tech hubs in the world, but there is no guarantee we will maintain this status in the future, which makes this news so disappointing," said Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC, a non-profit network of technology leaders in the city that counts Amazon as a member.

For now, however, Amazon is just one company. Google reiterated plans on Wednesday to develop a new campus in New York as part of its broader real estate expansions throughout the US.

"New York City is still open for business and will retain its status as a world class center for tech and innovation," John H. Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said in a statement.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33915

Reported Deaths: 2098
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5566253
Cuyahoga4211226
Marion264225
Hamilton2555135
Lucas2178240
Pickaway204836
Mahoning1397173
Summit1335172
Butler84728
Stark70591
Columbiana68451
Lorain66759
Montgomery63717
Trumbull55147
Belmont41212
Miami35230
Warren35119
Tuscarawas3373
Ashtabula32434
Portage31857
Medina31322
Delaware31013
Lake29012
Wood28246
Geauga27231
Wayne26049
Fairfield2515
Clark2345
Licking22210
Allen20632
Clermont2025
Mercer2016
Richland1933
Erie1656
Darke16221
Madison1487
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene1015
Ottawa9312
Putnam8814
Monroe7512
Sandusky7211
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson662
Auglaize653
Huron561
Williams511
Hancock512
Union491
Muskingum480
Clinton430
Hardin420
Shelby403
Fayette390
Wyandot382
Logan370
Fulton370
Coshocton370
Guernsey340
Defiance332
Preble331
Carroll303
Lawrence290
Holmes291
Brown281
Champaign271
Knox231
Highland221
Seneca202
Vinton192
Ashland190
Athens181
Perry181
Henry150
Scioto150
Jackson130
Paulding130
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
Pike60
Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 68°
Scattered Showers & Storms Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events