Residents and several local lawmakers strongly opposed the deal that would have brought another Amazon HQ to Long Island City in Queens. The company said it won’t reopen the search for another location.
Amazon has decided to scrap its plan to build a second headquarters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood in Queens, the company announced Thursday, amid backlash from activists and some lawmakers.
“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,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
In November 2018 the company announced it had chosen to split the site of its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, between two East Coast locations: New York City and Arlington, Virginia.
Amazon also said a third city, Nashville, was selected for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, responsible for customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities.
The New York City deal included plans to build a sprawling campus with 25,000 jobs in exchange nearly $3 billion worth of incentives.
But many Long Island City residents and local lawmakers strongly opposed the deal which they said would offer steep tax subsidies to the company and hurt taxpayers and the neighborhood. There were also concerns that local infrastructure, including the decaying subway system, could not cope with the additional residents.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris, an outspoken critic of the Amazon deal who represents Long Island City, was recently nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board which weights in on major capital funding projects.
“A community stood up and insisted at having a seat at the table for this megadeal that would have changed the very character of the neighborhood,” Gianaris told BuzzFeed News on Thursday. “Amazon, rather than engage in the process, picked up the ball and went home like a petulant child.”