Amazon Officially Cans NYC HQ2 Plans
It’s Valentine’s Day, but Amazon certainly hasn’t been feeling the love—at least from residents and local politicians in the New York City area. It was reported recently that the ecommerce giant was internally deliberating the possibility of backing out of its plans to open an HQ2 campus in Long Island City, Queens. And now, on this day dedicated to expressing our love for one another, Amazon made official its plans to cancel a New York City headquarters.
Important to note about the change in plans is that Amazon has confirmed it will not reopen the search for a second HQ2 campus—at least for now. So, it will simply move forward with its plans for a Crystal City campus and the logistics branch in Nashville. The company didn’t make any reference if it would alter its hiring plans to bring the “lost jobs” from the NYC campus to either of the other new locations.
Here’s the company’s statement, which was posted to the Amazon Day One blog this morning:
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 long-term. 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 disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.
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. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.
We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.
Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.
So, despite their best efforts to win support amongst locals, Amazon has caved to public pressure. This feels like a big blow and could be spun six ways to Sunday, but it also could be something that ultimately shows the company has at least some heart. For what it’s worth, they weren’t willing to force their way into a community simply because they wanted to.
How about a little golf clap for Amazon then?