×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Abandons Plans for New York Headquarters

Responding to a growing backlash, Amazon is officially abandoning its plans to build a new base of operations in New York. The company had planned to split its second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” between New York and Northern Virginia. On Thursday, Amazon said it wouldn’t be looking for an alternative location for the now-abandoned New York campus.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.”

Amazon had faced scrutiny for receiving over $3 billion in tax and other incentives, and was heavily courted by state officials while it went through a public application process for its HQ2 location. At one point, New York governor Andrew Cuomo even suggested that he would change his name to “Amazon Cuomo” to win the company’s contract. However, the deal was opposed by a number of local politicians, as well as high-profile progressive Democrats including representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who celebrated the company’s decision with a tweet:

On Thursday, Amazon blamed officials for torpedoing its plans. “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” the company said in its statement.

Amazon also said that it wasn’t going to give up on New York altogether: “There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.”

Amazon’s primary headquarters has been in Seattle ever since the company was founded in 1994. The company had called for a public application process to build its second headquarter, and got over 200 cities to participate, with many offering lucrative tax incentives to attract the e-commerce giant.

The company announced a decision to split HQ2 between Northern Virginia and New York in November, and at the time suggested that it would create as many as 25,000 jobs in each location.

Jimmy Van Bramer, the New York City Council member who represents the area in Queens, was among the loudest voices opposing the headquarters deal, on the grounds that the state should not be handing tax breaks to one of the world’s largest corporations.

Like Ocasio-Cortez, Van Bramer also raised concerns about Amazon’s track record in dealing with unions and in what they perceived to be a lack of hard commitments from Amazon to invest in infrastructure and services in Long Island City and environs. And they faulted Cuomo for negotiating the deal in secret without input from Queens legislators.

“Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city & state forever,” Van Bramer wrote on Twitter after Amazon announced its decision.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content