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Amazon dumps New York City as new headquarters site

Amazon dumps New York City as new headquarters site

And Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez said in a statement last week, "If Amazon is reconsidering getting out of its plan to open a headquarters in NY, as has been reported by the Washington Post, we welcome the opportunity to talk further with the e-commerce giant". It's a big reversal of its much-hyped decision to build a new headquarters in Queens after a highly publicized nationwide search. The Seattle-based Amazon had planned to bring 25,000 jobs to NY, and spend $2.5 billion building its offices.

In a series of City Council meetings in recent weeks, Amazon executives were grilled about their view on unions, specifics about jobs in the neighborhood and the fact that their chosen site is located in an opportunity zone, enabling it to qualify for federal and state tax breaks there.

Even as Amazon's plans to build a second headquarters facility in New York City is greeted with protests and political pushback, one of its biggest tech rivals has been quietly investing billions in heartland states that Amazon shunned for its HQ2.

In New York, Amazon negotiated "performance-based direct incentives" of $1.525 billion from New York State as part of the deal, a refundable tax credit through New York State's Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion, and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the building square footage of the new headquarters.

In pulling out, Amazon said it isn't looking for a replacement location "at this time".

Amazon has ditched its plan to build a new headquarters in New York City, opting instead to proceed with its "HQ2" site in Northern Virginia and additional expansion in Nashville and 17 corporate offices in the US and Canada. When Amazon announced its decision in November 2018, it also announced that it was opening an operations center in Nashville with more than 5,000 employees. However, they were divided on the incentives: 46 percent in favour, 44 percent against.

Its job growth represented 3 percent of North Texas' overall gains during those years and 35 percent of the job gains in the advanced logistics industry, Amazon said. "Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity", de Blasio said in a statement.

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Amazon released a statement to The Times, which states that it is grateful to some local leaders - such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Had they all just framed the tax incentives as, these are things any company in this geographic location can apply for and we'll see what happens, amazon could have gotten 80% of the money without any controversy", he said via text.

If Amazon had made a decision to press forward with its NY plans, it would have had a major political fight on its hands.

The decision comes after months of backlash from both residents and city officials, neither of whom was included in, or apprised of, the negotiations as they were happening. It said it plans to spread the technology jobs that were slated for NY to other offices around the US and Canada, including Chicago, Toronto and Austin, Texas.

A rendering of what would have been Amazon's future office tower in Long Island City.

BNN Bloomberg's Amanda Lang discusses what losing out on Amazon's HQ2 means for Toronto after the tech giant chose Virginia and NY for their new headquarters.

Amazon added that it has 5,000 workers in the city and plans to grow those teams.

"That said, they had so much support from Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio that you wonder - if they stuck with it, could they have made it work?"