Amazon is reportedly reconsidering their plans to build its “HQ2” in New York City following growing opposition from some city and state officials.
Fox Business reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is beginning to reconsider the construction of their second headquarters in New York City following opposition from both city and state officials. In an interview with Fox Business, an Amazon spokeswoman stated that the company is “focused on engaging with our new neighbors,” adding: “Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be.”
Reports claim that company officials are determining whether or not to “reassess” the current plans to operate out of NYC; given that the company has yet to purchase or lease office space for the project it would not be hard to move to a different location. An individual with knowledge of the situation told the Washington Post (which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos): “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming.”
Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens has been a long time critic of the $3 billion Amazon deal and was recently appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board by the Democratic majority Senate. As a result, Gianaris will have a chance to veto the deal that NYC has made with Amazon. Gianaris told FOX Business during an interview on Tuesday: “The deal that is before us would be horrible for New York and horrible for the country and set the precedent of giving $3 billion to the wealthiest corporation in the company to pay them to come here, especially when many of us believe they were likely to come anyway.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo helped to negotiate the deal between the city and Amazon and could refuse Gianaris’ appointment to the Public Authorities Control Board; but in doing so could create a standoff with the rest of his fellow Democrats. Gianaris noted that if his nomination is approved, Cuomo may have to present the project before the board and risk its rejection. “Up until now,” said Gianaris, “the governor has been very intent on avoiding any approvals.”
All of this may be too much trouble for Amazon in the long run, which they seem to be aware of. Amazon’s vice president for public policy, Brian Huseman, stated during a city council meeting: “We were invited to come to New York, and we want to invest in a community that wants us.” He further added that Amazon wanted to “be part of the growth of a community where our employees and our company are welcome.”