Queens Reels As Amazon Cancels LIC Deal

Amazon has announced they will withdraw from the deal with the city and state to build its new headquarters in Long Island City after fierce opposition from some elected officials and community groups. The following comments are excerpts from a statement Amazon just released:

“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. 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 longterm. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, 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.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts.

“We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville.”

As part of the deal, Amazon had promised to hire 25,000 to 40,000 employees from the area – greatly stimulating the economy – in exchange for $3 billion in tax breaks.

Elected officials released the following statements:

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney’s statements on Twitter: “Disappointed that NYC won’t be home to 25K+ new jobs from HQ2 & that LIC will lose out on infrastructure improvements that would have accompanied this project. This is not the Valentine that NY needed.

“The deal could have been improved. There were legitimate concerns raised and aspects that I wanted changed. I was ready to work for those changes. But now, we won’t have a chance to do that and we are out 25K+ new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments.”

The Congress Member also tweeted her quote from a Gazette story: “[With] 25K well-paying jobs coming to the neighborhood, the residents of Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria Houses, & Woodside have good chances for the future. We need to make sure that…opportunities lead to jobs.” (www.qgazette.com/news/2019-02-13/ Features/Amazon_ No_ Empty_ Promise.html)

And a fourth tweet: “I’ll continue working with the residents of Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria Houses, & Woodside and all #LIC & #NY12 to strengthen our economy & bring good paying jobs to NY.”

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