February 14, 2019

Amazon Abandons HQ2 Project in New York City

Despite efforts from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and others, Amazon has decided to not move forward with previously announced plans to build a portion of its second corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

The e-commerce giant in a statement released today, while praising Cuomo and de Blasio, cited the vocal opposition by some political and civic leaders as the reason for its decision. Recent published reports have stated that Amazon was having second thoughts about its planned investment in Long Island City.

“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 noted in its statement “For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. 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.”

Critics of the Amazon project complained about the potential adverse traffic and environmental impacts from the project and also charged that the combined $3 billion in state and city incentives to lure Amazon to New York City were too large.

The company stated that it does not intend to reopen the HQ2 competition but will continue to move forward with its plans to bring a portion of the HQ2 requirement to Northern Virginia, as well as expand its operations in Nashville.

“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams,” Amazon stated.

The Amazon HQ2 project was expected to involve at least $4 billion in investment by the Seattle-based company and the creation of at least 25,000 jobs in New York City.