Amazon reportedly rethinking HQ2 in New York City

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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11 February, 2019

Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company", the NY congresswoman tweeted. But it's hard to believe that CEO Jeff Bezos was naive enough to believe he'd get the same reception in NY.

When the details of the behind-closed-doors agreement the NY government made with Amazon were made public in November, as Common Dreams reported, critics immediately decried the deal as "corporate bribery" that would harm public housing projects and contribute to soaring inequality while handing the tech behemoth billions in taxpayer incentives.

Amazon is attempting to build inroads with New Yorkers angry over the scope of the project and the negative affects it is likely to have on many people living around the new headquarters. "You're not there to play politics, you're there to do what's right for the people of the State of NY and what they did here is wrong".

But the company has not made the decision to withdraw, and the discussions could be seen as a threat to quiet the opposition.

Preckwinkle issued her own statement saying she supports Pritzker's efforts to encourage Amazon to "reconsider Chicago, including South Side locations" for the 25,000-job prize known as "HQ2". Opponents have expressed concern with the tax incentives Amazon has been promised as well as the potential strain on housing and infrastructure.

Gianaris, the Senate's deputy majority leader, was nominated earlier this week to the state Public Authorities Control Board, which has the power to derail the project.

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Bill Montana was schmoozing with real estate brokers Thursday at an industry event in NY, talking about the biggest deal in years: Inc.'s decision to build a major campus in Queens. "It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy".

The world's largest online retailer plans to spend $5 billion on the developments in Long Island City in New York's Queens borough, and in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C, and expects to get more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives with plans to apply for more.

Amazon is set to get more than $1 billion in subsidies, which is a deal some state lawmakers are now balking at. 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.

One of the people reportedly questioned "whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project", according to the Post. They're pushing for NY to replace cash bail in most criminal cases with community supervision, electronic monitoring or travel restrictions.

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". A City Hall source confirmed the city reached out as well.

One reason for the big difference in whether Amazon is welcomed or not lies in the nature of the locations where the new headquarters would be.

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