Update, February 14, 2019 (12:30 PM ET): The rumor surrounding Amazon canceling its plans to build a new headquarters in New York City (as discussed in the article below) turned out to be true. Today, Amazon officially announced (via the Amazon blog) that it has canceled its plans to build the headquarters.
Amazon said that “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.” However, the company admitted 30 percent of New Yorkers declared they would not agree to that kind of relationship. That 30 percent statistic is attributed to “polls,” but the company didn’t give links to the actual data.
Amazon will not search for a replacement for the previously-planned NYC building, instead focusing on its other two prospective locations: Virginia and Tennessee.
Original article, February 8, 2019 (02:41 PM ET): According to a new report from The Washington Post, two anonymous officials have disclosed that Amazon might be backtracking on its plans to build a new headquarters in the New York City borough of Queens.
The Washington Post, it should be added, is owned by Jeff Bezos, who is the founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon.
If Amazon backtracks on its plans to build a second headquarters in NYC, it will be a pretty significant blow to the company, considering it held a highly-publicized contest of sorts to choose which American city would be the best place to house the new complex.
However, NYC residents, as well as high-profile New York politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been very outspoken against Amazon coming to the city. It’s very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans.
Amazon hasn’t built any structures nor finalized any land leases in New York as of yet, and likely wouldn’t until 2020. Therefore, pulling out of the plans now would cause few issues for the company if you ignore the possible negative PR implications.
The primary criticism of an Amazon NYC headquarters is the high likelihood that it would displace families currently living in Queens. In Seattle, where Amazon’s current HQ is located, home prices have soared as high-earning Amazon employees moved in, pushing out the locals. New York residents fear the same will happen to them.
Another criticism of the planned HQ is that Amazon will be given many tax breaks to move in, which seems unfair considering the company is one of the wealthiest organizations on the planet.
An Amazon spokesperson had this to say in a statement on the rumors:
We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors — small business owners, educators, and community leaders. Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be.
Amazon also has plans to build new hubs in Virginia and Tennessee, both of which have been more welcoming to the idea in comparison to New York.