BY PATRICK MOORE
New York City lost a potential deal that would have landed an Amazon Headquarters. The plan was to place the headquarters in Long Island City, located in Queens, but was abruptly cancelled because the backlash Amazon received.
The original plan would have Amazon build a $2.5 billion headquarters and created around 25,000 jobs for NY. This deal would give Amazon close to $2.8 billion in tax breaks, which angered the public.
In pulling out, Amazon said they looking for a replacement location “at this time.” Amazon officials said they plan to spread the technology jobs that were slated for New York to other offices around the U.S. and Canada, including Chicago, Toronto and Austin, Texas. It will also expand its existing New York offices, which already have about 5,000 employees.
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.
“Even though I feel Amazon is a great company, I truly do not think Amazon is ready to take on New York. I have lived on Long Island my whole life and I feel that if Amazon moved in, it would hurt our lifestyle,” said junior Nick Collins, an economics major. “Amazon would end up hurting the Long Island culture”.
While some people thought the deal was flawed, others could see both sides.
“I’m personally torn on this because on one hand if Amazon were to have went ahead with their plans and created HQ2 in New York, then they would have added an immense amount of jobs, opportunities, and diversification to the area,” said junior Mike Barnych, a marketing major. “However, on the other hand, with Amazon backing out of their plans, the locals avoided the possibility of a spike in the cost of living.”
The reason why Amazon pulled out of the deal is not clear. Amazon stated in a press release 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.”
Many politicians in New York have mixed opinions on the matter.
In a joint statement, Democrats said that “offering massive corporate welfare from scarce public resources to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world at a time of great need in our state is just wrong”.
“I’m not looking to negotiate a better deal [and]I am against the deal that has been proposed,” said Democratic Senator Michael Gianaris.
The goal for Governor Andrew Cuomo is to land a future deal with Amazon and to “not to burn any bridges”.
The mixed opinions on the topic does not give a clear answer whether a future Amazon deal will occur.
“I was flabbergasted,” Mayor Bill De Blasio said. “Why on earth after all of the effort we all put in would you simply walk away?”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.