Amazon said to be reconsidering New York City headquarters
00:16, Feb 10, 2019
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Amazon is re-evaluating its decision to build a campus in New York City, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two anonymous sources.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who helped bring the project to his state, on Friday offered his support for Amazon and called out local politicians for opposing the plan. "For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice", he said.
At a contentious City Council meeting last week, Amazon's public policy director Brian Huseman touted the deal's benefits for the city, but also said that Amazon wants to invest in a "community that wants us".
"Why should we subsidize the creation of 25,000 Amazon jobs when Amazon's entire business model seeks to eliminate millions of retail jobs", he said.
The Spheres is an Amazon work site in Seattle. "I think defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is absolutely a victory".
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. "If they stop Amazon from coming to NY, they're going to have the people of NY to explain it to", he said on Friday, according to Capital Tonight reporter Nick Reisman.
But critics objected to the massive subsidies NY offered to lure the tech behemoth. Such uproar has stood in contrast with the company's reception in Virginia, which has been largely friendly.
New York City lawmakers who weren't intimately involved with the "HQ2" bid to bring in Amazon have been sharply critical of giving billions in taxpayer dollars to the world's most valuable corporation, so it can add to an already existing presence in the region.
"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia have been so welcoming", a source familiar with the matter toldthe Post.
De Blasio argued in November that "this is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind".
Amazon did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Furthering Amazon's troubles is the recent nomination of one of its most outspoken critics, state Senator Michael Gianaris, to the Public Authorities Control Board.
A spokesperson for Miami WorldCenter, which had been considered as a potential landing spot for a hypothetical Miami HQ2, said Amazon has not gotten back in touch about any new projects. Inside Amazon, all indications are that the company is moving full-steam ahead with the expansion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders", it said. The reports could be strategic moves on Amazon's part in threatening to pull out of the deal, or the company and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, may truly be deciding whether to cut its losses.
This much is certain: The plan to give Amazon tax breaks of $3 billion to come to Long Island City has been met with resistance and backlash from some local groups and politicians, nearly since the day it was announced that the area was co-winner of an RFP process that attracted more than 200 proposals from across North America.
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On Friday, AMI said that at the time of Bezos' allegations it was "in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him". In a deal announced with federal prosecutors late previous year , AMI said it would cooperate with those prosecutors.
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