Amazon’s decision to open HQ2 in New York City has been a controversial decision since day one. The company has been championing the estimated 25,000 jobs the move could bring to the metropolitan area, while citizens and local government officials have balked at promised tax breaks and the added strain on housing and an aging infrastructure.
The unexpected friction has apparently been enough to cause Amazon to reconsider its plans for Queens’ Long Island City neighborhood. That’s according to a new report from the Bezos-owned Washington Post.
The paper cites “people familiar with the matter,” including one who stated, anonymously, “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.”
After a months-long protracted campaign that had local governments falling over one another to be the site of the company’s second headquarters, Amazon no doubt expected minimal pushback here. And certainly New York City rolled out the red carpet for the company in closed-door meetings — much to chagrin of the city council and high-profile progressive politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Amazon has experienced much less pushback with its Virginia proposal, while plans to start hiring locally in New York have been delayed as city government reviews the plans and awaits feedback from constituents.
Update: Amazon has responded with a comment, “We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors – small business owners, educators, and community leaders. 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.”