In one of the most high profile searches for and now exits from a second/third corporate headquarters, Amazon has pulled the plug on its announced plans to expand its operations in Long Island City.
A weeks-long outcry from local politicians, union leaders and community organizers protesting approximately $3.3B in state and city tax incentives to the world’s richest company in exchange for that company hiring some 25,000 new employees proved to be too much. An Amazon spokeswoman said, “A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”
Needless to say, there are many other points of view in addition to Amazon’s and those protesting its potential presence. A recent poll obtained by The Point indicated that just last Tuesday, two days before Amazon announced on Valentine’s Day that it was pulling out, indicated that 80% of Queens registered voters and 77% of residents in the 12th State Senate District approved of Amazon’s plans to establish a second headquarters in Long Island City. Among those respondents, however, 80% also said it would be likely that local and regional property values and the city’s economy would rise with Amazon’s presence.
Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, commented to Bloomberg News, “Nobody won today.” Not Amazon. Not Long Island City. Not New York State. He did say however that Amazon’s plans to go ahead with its plans for additional headquarters operations in Northern Virginia and Nashville would likely put pressure on those respective housing markets just as Amazon’s presence in Seattle has catapulted Seattle’s housing market to one of the top housing markets in the country.
Amazon’s spokespeople reiterated that it will not pursue further negotiations with the city nor state of New York but that it will “…proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville and will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada.”