“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion.” – Amazon
Amazon has said it will not build a new headquarters in New York, citing fierce opposition from state and local politicians.
The dramatic turnabout comes just months after the firm named New York City one of two sites selected for major expansion over the next decades.
It was an abrupt end to a high-profile project for the world’s largest e-commerce company.
Following a yearlong public search for a new second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, Amazon in November announced plans to build two 25,000-employee campuses, one in Long Island City, in New York’s Queens borough, and another in Arlington, Virginia. Both locations were selected from over 200 bidders and were expected to receive $2.5 billion in investments from the e-commerce giant. Amazon also selected Nashville to host a new 5,000-person “center of excellence.”
Amazon’s retreat was a blow to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, damaging their effort to further diversify the city’s economy by making it an inviting location for the technology industry.
Amazon said its plans to build a new headquarters required “positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long term”.
It said: “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 November, Amazon announced plans to invest about $2.5bn and add more than 25,000 “high-paying” jobs at campuses in New York and near Washington DC over the next two decades.
The agreement to lure Amazon to Long Island City, Queens, had stirred intense debate in New York about the use of public subsidies to entice wealthy companies, the rising cost of living in gentrifying neighborhoods, and the city’s very identity.
“We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time,” Amazon said Thursday. “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 US and Canada.”
The company employs over 5,000 people in New York City and said it plans to continue growing those teams.