Amazon kills off New York HQ in the wake of mounting pressure

After public and political outcry following the decision to locate a new Amazon headquarters in Queens, New York, the retail giant has pulled out of the city

15Feb

Following weeks of mounting pressure from politicians and locals alike, Amazon has cancelled its plans to open one of its new headquarters in Queens, New York.

Rumors began circling earlier this week that the retail giant was reconsidering its decision to locate one of its new campuses in the New York borough. The company confirmed the reports on February 14.

"After much thought and deliberation, we've decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens," the company announced.

"For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term."

The decision to locate in the city followed a year-long competition which encouraged US cities to compete for the opportunity to house Amazon's new headquarters. The company then announced in November 2018 it would be splitting its new headquarters in two. One was to be located in Queens, New York City with the second being housed in Arlington, Virginia. The headquarters were intended to bring 25,000 jobs to each of the areas in addition to an investment of $5bn across both campuses.

However, critics argued that the project would raise housing costs in the Queens area and cause a significant uptick in traffic and drew attention to the decision to give the company $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies. As a result, New York citizens protested the decision while a number of politicians, including US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, openly denounced the verdict.

While the Queens headquarters is now up in smoke, the headquarters in Virginia is still set to go ahead having been embraced by officials. 

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