Amazon is reportedly looking for other options to build its headquarters, though the company remains publicly committed to sticking with New York City. It's a big reversal of its much-hyped decision to build a new headquarters in Queens after a highly publicized nationwide search.
Amazon may forfeit part or all of its $3 billion incentive package to build a new headquarters in New York City after local residents put up a spirited resistance to the company's plans.
There were already rumors that Amazon was planning on putting the kibosh on the deal, due mainly to the the appointment of State Senator Michael Gianaris to the Public Authorities Control Board in early February.
Several protests were staged against the planned campus and Amazon executives faced withering criticism during two City Council meetings, in which council members pilloried the company for its mostly non-union workforce and alleged work with US Immigration and Custom Enforcement.
"Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city & state forever", Jimmy Van Bramer, a city councilman from Queens who had opposed the project, said on Twitter.
"They're just packing more and more people in, more and more residents in, and now you're gonna add, what, 25,000 workers every day?"
"POWER OF THE PEOPLE", former NY attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout exclaimed, saying Amazon's decision to abandon the NY headquarters project left her "speechless". Along with thousands of jobs, the Seattle company planned spend $2.5 billion building its new offices.
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"We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time", Amazon said. Instead, the e-commerce giant will move forward with existing plans in Virginia and Nashville and continue to hire across its 17 tech hubs and corporate offices in the U.S. and Canada. It does not plan to find a new location to replace the New York City campus, opting to only stay in Virginia, The New York Times first reported.
In its statement on Thursday, Amazon said they loved NY and were grateful to both Cuomo and de Blasio for their support during the process.
The agreement to lure Amazon stirred an intense debate about the use of government incentives to entice wealthy companies, the rising cost of living in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, and the city's very identity.
Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of ALIGN, center, speaks during a protest against Amazon outside of City Hall in NY on January 30.
Amazon announced it was axing its NY offices as it was revealed it will pay no federal income taxes for the second year in a row, despite making $11billion profit it made in 2018. It was set to receive $3 billion in city and state subsidies for the NY base, and said the campus would create more than 25,000 jobs.
Despite vocal opposition to the Amazon deal, polling showed most New Yorkers favored the project.
"This is proof of why it is so important to have an inclusive and transparent process from the beginning", said New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat.
Chicago, Miami and Newark are among the passed-over finalists that have expressed interest in another chance to become the home of an Amazon project that could bring 25,000 jobs.