Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Amazon exploring potential alternatives to New York HQ

Amazon exploring potential alternatives to New York HQ

Amazon has not yet returned a request for comment from Fox News, but it did tell TechCrunch it is "focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders".

Amazon is reconsidering their plan to build physical headquarters in New York City after receiving backlash from politicians, according to two Washington Post sources close with the company.

But another source familiar with Amazon's thinking disputed the report, telling The New York Times, "I think that's a bit far in my opinion".

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", one of the sources who spoke with The Post said.

The New York Times reported Friday afternoon, citing two unnamed sources, that Amazon execs are frustrated with the cold reception the company has received in New York, but that the company is not now planning to back out. NY is known for being a solidly pro-labor city and the e-commerce giant has been the focus of several protests. Reportedly, Amazon is already considering either moving the entire East Coast headquarters to Virginia, or to other cities that were on the Amazon short list.

Meanwhile, New York's final approval for the headquarters isn't expected until 2020. Multiple parties reached out to Amazon to make sure that they know Chicago would still want them. It must be approved unanimously by the state Public Authorities Control Board.

Some people involved in the planning for Amazon's East Coast expansion have discussed whether to pare back the NY plans, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.

Amazon hasn't built any structures nor finalized any land leases in NY as of yet, and likely wouldn't until 2020.

If the deal does fall through, some fear it could have broader repercussions on New York's ability to attract top corporations.

The initiative has faced loud opposition from the Long Island City neighbourhood, who say that Amazon's expansion could bring more crowded subway stations, an overburdened sewage system and rent increases that would drive out long-time residents. The state gave them massive tax breaks to try to keep them around, gutting the local government's budget and shifting to burden to the taxpayers, but the company wound up nearly entirely leaving anyway. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans.

According to the Washington Post, Amazon may be reconsidering its decision to open its long-touted HQ2 to the borough of Queens in New York City. The selections came after a year-long competition with hundreds of cities vying for Amazon's favor. "I am against the deal that has been proposed and don't believe that it can form the foundation of a negotiation", Gianaris recently told the New York Times.

NY also offered up to $505 million in subsidies.

In Virginia, the existing large population of highly-paid tech workers means Amazon will fit right in.

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