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Amazon reconsidering NYC location, according to report | Digital

11 February 2019

While the Post's report cited two people who were familiar with the matter, a third has spoken to The New York Times' City Hall reporter and said that there were no plans to abandon ship just yet.

Amazon may be reconsidering its plan to set up shop in New York City, according to a Washington Post report.

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.

"We talk with the folks from Amazon all the time", says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, the local economic development organization.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district includes some nearby neighborhoods, suggested on Twitter that the report showed people can "come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world's biggest corporations".

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Asked to comment on the Washington Post story, Amazon said the company is "focused on engaging with our new neighbors-small business owners, educators, and community leaders".

The Spheres is an Amazon work site in Seattle. "There is no (other) business that brings 25,000 jobs".

Alphabet Inc's Google said in December it would invest more than $1 billion on a new campus in NY, becoming the second major technology company to pick America's financial capital to expand and create thousands of jobs. The company said it will receive performance-based incentives of $1.525 billion from the state of NY, including an average $48,000 for each job it creates.

The Post added that no specific plans to abandon NY have been made and it's possible Amazon could use them as a threat to pressure NY lawmakers. "In 2005, the board rejected a $2.2 billion plan spearheaded by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a redevelopment that would have included a stadium on Manhattan's West Side to be used by the New York Jets and, possibly, for the 2012 Olympic Games". "It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy". Gianaris was nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board, which has the power to veto the Amazon deal completely.

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

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Amazon, for its part, has tried to win over its future neighbors. At the time, Amazon said it would open two HQ2 campuses - one in Virginia and one in NY.

The back-and-forth came after The Washington Post reported that Amazon is having second thoughts because of some local politicians' opposition to the almost $3 billion incentive package.

Amazon has hired a lobbying firm and a public relations firm in NY and recently advertised for a "senior community affairs manager" to "focus on developing a positive partnership with local stakeholders, community groups and nonprofits".

The governor defended the deal, while shifting the blame on intra-New York politics. Deals that would receive nearly no scrutiny, like U.S. Steel winning $47 million in tax breaks from impoverished Gary, Indiana, now make headlines.

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Amazon reconsidering NYC location, according to report | Digital