Seattle-based Amazon is back tracking on its plans to build a second headquarters in NY as previously planned. It's a big reversal of its much-hyped decision to build a new headquarters in Queens after a highly publicized nationwide search.
This morning Amazon made public their cancelled plans to create a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, New York.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a separate statement: "Given the city and state's assets-a strong talent pipeline, a diverse tech base, unmatched infrastructure and a highly accessible location-we are well poised to accommodate Amazon should they want to relocate New York City's portion of HQ2, in whole or part".
The fact that Amazon has said it won't look at another headquarters - despite having received detailed plans from dozens of cities and drawn up a shortlist of 18 - and the fact that it has said it will expand regardless, has led many to question why cities are offering enormous subsidies to large corporations in the first place. Gianaris, who referred to the company as "scamazon", sits on the state's Public Authorities Control Board, a panel set to review the plan in 2020.
"Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbours defeated Amazon's corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world", she tweeted, referring to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
The list of grievances against the project grew as the months wore on, with critics complaining about Amazon's stance on unions and some Long Island City residents fretting that the company's arrival would drive up rents and other costs.
Interestingly enough, Amazon said it does not plan to reopen its search for another host city at this time.
Amazon said Thursday it does not plan to look for another location at this time, and will continue to build out offices in Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
The no-comments make it hard to determine whether those officials - including leaders in Fort Worth and Arlington's city government and chambers of commerce - are keeping mum because of non-disclosure agreements, or because they just don't know much about what Amazon's next move might be. The Nashville office is expected to have 5,000 employees. However, they were divided on the incentives: 46 percent in favour, 44 percent against. She said the Amazon was going to use "taxpayer giveaways" to "force its empire-building on our neighborhoods". "Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity".
Amazon's headquarters would have been located in Gianaris' district, but he became the fiercest critic of its $3 billion in subsidies and tax breaks.
"Today's behavior by Amazon shows why they would have been a bad partner for NY in any event", he said in a statement.
BNN Bloomberg's Amanda Lang discusses what losing out on Amazon's HQ2 means for Toronto after the tech giant chose Virginia and NY for their new headquarters.
The project was announced in 2017, with Amazon kickstarting a bidding war between cities looking to attract the retail giant. They've suggested that they intend to "continue growing" the teams of employees they've got in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, all "over 5,000" of them.