Amazon May Be Reconsidering Long Island City Headquarters

Manuel Martinez
J.B. Pritzker

This past month, a leading critic of NY subsidies for Amazon's plan to build a second headquarters in Queens was nominated to serve on a state board with the power to reject the project.

The e-commerce giant announced in November that it would split its second headquarters between New York's Long Island City and Northern Virginia.

Reacting to the Washington Post report, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday accused the state Senate of "governmental malpractice".

Earlier, the Post, which is owned by Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon executives had had internal discussions to reassess the situation in ny and explore alternatives.

"Multibillion-dollar corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos should not be threatening New Yorkers or expect any American taxpayers to foot the bill for opening a new headquarters - whether it's in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, or anywhere else". This will include a refundable tax credit, through the state's Excelsior Program, of up to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Much of the opposition stems from the billions in tax incentives that New York City and New York state want to give to the world's wealthiest company, which is owned by one of the world's wealthiest men. While he has yet to be confirmed, his position on the board would allow him to scrap Amazon's HQ2 deal.

Van Bramer said he would be glad to see Amazon go. He notes Google is coming to the city without a massive incentive package.

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The state has made calls to Amazon officials to express its continued interest to take over the project - one that promises 25,000 jobs - the source told ROI-NJ on Friday afternoon. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans.

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", one of the sources said.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union - which has worked to help unionize Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island - pointed the blame at Amazon. Or, it may be trying to put pressure on local politicians to support the deal.

The source said the article could be a trial balloon for either side: It could be the NY community sending a signal to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, or it could be Bezos testing the waters.

Cuomo's office then released a copy of legislation introduced on February 5 by Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Queens) that would allow New York City - not Albany - to impose a tax surcharge on city wealthy residents to help fund mass transit improvements and provide reduced fares for low-income New Yorkers. Back in November, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the project as one benefiting a large outside corporation over local NY residents.

And while city lawmakers have spoken out against the deal, Mayor de Blasio doesn't believe they are completely opposed to the possibility of thousands of new jobs in the area.

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