Starting last week, reports suggested that Amazon was having doubts about its HQ2 project in Long Island City, Queens. There is stern opposition against HQ2 from not only lawmakers but also residents. Now, Amazon has officially pulled out of its plan to build a second headquarters (HQ2) in New York.
“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Previously, Amazon decided to split its HQ2 operations between Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia, and would set up an operations center in Nashville. The company was set to receive $3 billion in subsidies from city and state for the New York location, and was expected to bring more than 25,000 jobs. That is no longer the case.
Amazon also added that it doesn't plan to “re-open the HQ2 search” right now and will continue to expand its existing offices and tech hubs, as well as continue to grow its existing 5,000+ workforce in New York City, maintain its focus on growth for Arlington and Nashville locations.
While Amazon has decided to pull out, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who helped put the deal together in the first place, is working to set up a meeting this week between union leaders who oppose the plan and Amazon's executives, per New York Times sources. Reportedly, Amazon has been unwilling to change its position.
If you're interested in reading Amazon's full statement, you can do so below:
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. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. 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.
We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.
We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can't speak positively enough about all their efforts. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.
We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.
Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.