The much-hyped deal of Amazon’s New York City HQ2 plans have fallen apart recently. On February of 2019, the e-commerce giant announced that it will cancel its plan to build its second headquarters in the city of New York.
Amazon in a blog post stated that: “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.”
Amazon’s planned move to New York was facing a backlash from New Yorkers for the past couple of years ever since the plan was announced. The cancellation still came as a shock to many.
Amazon’s current headquarters are based in Seattle, where it employs 45,000 employees in three glass covered domes. Back in 2017, the company announced that it was planning to build a second headquarters for its operations, where it would invest up to $5 billion and bring close to 50,000 new jobs.
After this massive announcement, the company received 238 applications from cities all around America in a bid to woo the company. From that list, the company shortlisted 20 candidates, out of which New York City was one of them. In December of 2018, Amazon announced that it would split its HQ2 into new chapters, one based in New York and the other based in Northern Virginia. Amazon then said that each headquarter would bring roughly 25,000 jobs each.
After that announcement, residents of Virginia reacted positively to Amazon’s move although New Yorkers were more skeptical about it. The residents of New York had strong reservations about Amazon’s planned headquarters in the city as they believed the move would increase the city’s homeless population while sending the rents to skyrocket out of proportion. The residents also believed that having Amazon in their backyard would bring unintended consequences for the city such as transportation problems. People were also outraged that Amazon, which is a multi-billion dollar company, would receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks once it starts its operations in the city.
Amazon was proposed to receive a tax break of up to $3 billion if it built its headquarters in New York, which further infuriated New York residents and politicians. Soon, many people in the city started protesting about the deal which created a further backlash against Amazon.
Amazon then started mailing New York residents about the benefits of its HQ2. In 2019 January, Amazon came out with a new plan to win over the skeptics in New York by pledging to help the small businesses in the city. The e-commerce giant also promised that it would spend in education initiatives as well as create more jobs for the residents of the city.
February 2019 saw most New York politicians considering about vetoing Amazon’s move, which prompted the company to shelve its plans indefinitely on the 14th of February.