Amazon Reportedly Reconsidering Its NYC Headquarters Amid Fierce Opposition

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Amazon's development proposal lays out plans for a 4-8 million-square-foot campus, but it has not yet leased or purchased office space for the project, which is not expected to receive final NY state approval until 2020.

However, several NY politicians have been critical of the project and the roughly $3 billion in incentives NY agreed to provide.

Supported by the NY governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the plan has faced a torrent of opposition from elected officials, activists and unions, angry that the company is set to get up to $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies.

He told the Guardian: "Amazon has extorted ny from the first day of this process, and this seems to be their latest effort to do that".

"Bezos is one of those guys who doesn't like to lose, so does he fight it and win it or does he just (go) elsewhere?" the source said.

Since Amazon announced plans to build a New York City facility in November, the project has been the target of vocal opposition from politicians, community groups and residents. Multiple parties reached out to Amazon to make sure that they know Chicago would still want them. But the local legislature is powerless to stop the Long Island City campus from advancing, since Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Empire State Development has put the development into a "general project plan", which bypasses municipal zoning and land use regulations.

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Amazon has not yet closed deals on NY property and thus still has the chance to back away from its initial plan if it wants to.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a link to the Post story on Friday and said: "Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world's biggest corporations?" Council Speaker Corey Johnson criticized Amazon last week for pitting workers against one another.

But, the source said, "There are some folks making it clear (in New York) that Amazon will never come to NY".

The split second headquarters, which Amazon called HQ2, attracted 238 proposals from across North America in a year-long bidding war. Amazon ended the frenzy by dividing the spoils between the two most powerful U.S. East Coast cities and offering a consolation prize of a 5,000-person center in Nashville, Tennessee. Amazon has said it will turn its $2.5 billion investment into an incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years.

Under grilling at a recent city council hearing - where he further angered critics by saying Amazon would oppose any effort by NY workers to unionize - company vice-president Brian Huseman dropped a veiled hint that the giant could pull out. Each project in NY and Virginia is expected to create 25,000 jobs. The company is hiring lobbyists and a "community affairs manager" in NY, so it's clearly still committed to the deal at some level.

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