Amazon may be rethinking plans for New York City headquarters

Lloyd Doyle
February 9, 2019

A critic of the plan, Queens lawmaker Senator Michael Gianaris, was appointed to a state senate panel that has the power to block Amazon's campus, local media including the New York Times have reported.

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company", the NY congresswoman tweeted. "It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy".

The company is considering other options for the NY location, including relocating thousands of jobs to other areas and withdrawing altogether.

Amazon is moving forward with plans to construct another headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, near the nation's capital.

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 Seattle-based company also announced a third location in Nashville. This will include a refundable tax credit, through the state's Excelsior Program, of up to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years.

"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 person familiar with Amazon's plans told The Washington Post.

One supporter of the deal Van Bramer spoke to "seemed genuinely anxious, and that led me to believe that it was real", he said.

The two have been at the forefront of the Amazon opposition, and most recently, Sen.


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he hasn't heard from Amazon since the e-commerce giant broke the news to him and other South Florida officials that the region came up short in its bid to land HQ2.

Van Bramer opposes the deal while admitting the projected 25,000 jobs are important. She said her neighbors may have given the prospect of Amazon a warmer welcome had the subsidy package not been so large.

In an effort to ease tension with the city, Amazon tried putting on a full court press to win over New Yorkers, promising jobs for residents in public housing and tech training for SUNY and CUNY students to get their foot in the door.

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

The source said New Jersey officials have not been given any indication that Amazon is considering moving out of NY.

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said if the Amazon deal falls apart they will have nobody to blame but themselves. Or, it may be trying to put pressure on local politicians to support the deal.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Post report, but did circulate to reporters an editorial arguing that ny was running the risk of losing Amazon and that it would be bad news for the city if it did.

Cuomo's office then released a copy of legislation introduced on February 5 by Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Queens) that would allow New York City - not Albany - to impose a tax surcharge on city wealthy residents to help fund mass transit improvements and provide reduced fares for low-income New Yorkers.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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