Amazon HQ2 may not happen in NY after all, report says

It looks like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) (shown above left) might have her way after all - Amazon is reconsidering building its second headquarters in New York City, according to a report from The Washington Post.

If Amazon does reconsider, it's unclear what their Plan B would be.

On Thursday, Van Bremer released a statement saying, "Since the Governor and the Mayor announced the Amazon deal, I have joined many to fight it".

The governor surprised onlookers Friday when he gave a slide presentation during an economic development speech on Long Island and listed his top legislative priorities in a series of slides. Cuomo's policies aimed at boosting job growth across NY through billions of dollars in tax incentives and business subsidies had been criticized for years by Republicans and Democrats alike even before the Amazon deal was announced last fall.

Mayor Bill De Blasio, who has also championed the Amazon deal, responded to the company's stance on unionization by saying, "This is my message to Amazon: Welcome to New York City; This is a union town". The county board of supervisors has expressed strong support for the Amazon headquarters and is planning to pass a local incentive package in March. "New Yorkers wont be bullied by Jeff Bezos, and if Amazon is unwilling to respect workers and communities they will never be welcome in New York City".

One of the people reportedly questioned "whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project", according to the Post. Cuomo has veto power over the appointment, but doing so would draw the ire of a State Senate now controlled by Democrats.

Stuart Applebaum, the President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said that if the deal is to fall apart, Amazon only has themselves to blame.

In one sign of opposition, artists spray-painted Amazon's logo - spelled "AMAZNO" - on streets near the proposed site.

An Amazon spokesperson told Vox in a vague email statement, "We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders".

No specific plans to abandon the NY location has been made. Gianaris told FOX Business during an interview on Tuesday: "The deal that is before us would be disgusting for NY and frightful for the country and set the precedent of giving $3 billion to the wealthiest corporation in the company to pay them to come here, especially when many of us believe they were likely to come anyway".

"The Amazon deal is now officially on the rocks", former NY attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout wrote after Gianaris was appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board. "There's going to be tremendous pressure on Amazon to allow unionization, and I will be one of the people bringing that pressure". Amazon's plan also calls for an initial 4 million-square-foot commitment to the National Landing neighborhood of Arlington, Va.

The announcement, however, was immediately by local NY politicians.

Malin doubts that Amazon would abruptly pull out of the deal, considering the scale of Amazon's plans and of the government incentives.

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

  • David Armstrong