New York Is Having Second Thoughts About Amazon’s Second Headquarters

Amazon sign

Amazon sign

"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors-small-business owners, educators, and community leaders", an Amazon spokeswoman told Barron's in an email message.

Amazon.com Inc is exploring alternatives to locating part of its new headquarters in NY in case the plan should fail due to local opposition, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday.

According to the Post story: "Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, said the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the company's perspective".

Sources "familiar with the company's thinking" told the Post that the reassessment comes following local opposition from politicians and activist groups. The financial incentives NY lavished on Amazon to lure the company there also troubled some liberals.

No specific plans to abandon the NY location has been made.

Amazon expected it would face the biggest public backlash to a new headquarters in New York City, Bloomberg has reported. In addition, some of the other locations on Amazon's short list have kept their efforts alive, continuing to court Amazon for what they see as an employment bonanza. The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO and founder.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims the state Senate is pushing to pass a new tax on millionaires - an assertion immediately denounced as "fake news" by the Democrats who control the legislative body.

All of this has Amazon wondering if picking NY was the right thing to do. Of this $1.525 billion, up to $1.2 billion could come from a refundable tax credit through New York State's Excelsior Program and a $325 million cash grant from the Empire State Development fund.

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"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", the statement read. But the only South Side site to which the Amazon team returned for multiple site visits was the South Loop mega-site known as "the 78".

It's not clear what Amazon would do if it dropped the plan for NY.

New York - Long Island City, specifically - was selected as a co-winner, along with land in Northern Virginia, in November.

At a contentious City Council meeting last week, Amazon's public policy director Brian Huseman touted the deal's benefits for the city, but also said that Amazon wants to invest in a "community that wants us".

No one city will be home to Amazon's second North American headquarters.

One supporter of the deal Van Bramer spoke to "seemed genuinely anxious, and that led me to believe that it was real", he said. "There is no (other) business that brings 25,000 jobs".

"Economic development has been badly broken in NY for some time", Teachout concluded, "but this proposed deal is grotesque in its scope and audacity".

Sure, Amazon shimmied into Virginia and got everything it wanted. Michael Gianaris and New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

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