Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the company's thinking, the Washington Post reported on Friday that Amazon "is reconsidering its plan to bring 25,000 jobs to a new campus in New York City following a wave of opposition from local politicians".
Unions, which have organized most of the deal opposition on the grounds that e-commerce destroys traditional retail jobs, said the Washington Post report suggests Amazon is threatening to pull the plug on the efforts to pressure ny politicians and galvanize support. The company also said that it will "separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City's Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City's Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP)". Reportedly, Amazon is already considering either moving the entire East Coast headquarters to Virginia, or to other cities that were on the Amazon short list.
The world's largest online retailer plans to spend $5 billion on the developments in Long Island City in New York's Queens borough, and in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C, and expects to get more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives with plans to apply for more. The original pitch made it sound as if they might go to some smaller to middle-sized city that was down on its luck and in need of a major boost in jobs and commerce.
The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.
The state senate recently nominated Gianaris to the Public Authorities Control Board, where he could ultimately veto Amazon's plans if Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirms his appointment.
Even if the deal falls through with NY, the deal with Virginia would still stand.
Amazon hasn't built any structures nor finalized any land leases in NY as of yet, and likely wouldn't until 2020. NY residents fear the same will happen to them.
The Spheres is an Amazon work site in Seattle.
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If Amazon is reconsidering its Long Island City campus, it's not telling close partners on the project.
"Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be", an Amazon spokesperson said in an email.
In addition to raising concerns about the tax breaks given to Amazon, critics have noted that the company has said it would not support employees who seek to unionize.
This much is certain: The plan to give Amazon tax breaks of $3 billion to come to Long Island City has been met with resistance and backlash from some local groups and politicians, nearly since the day it was announced that the area was co-winner of an RFP process that attracted more than 200 proposals from across North America.
After receiving the bad news, Emanuel acknowledged that subsidies were at least a part of the reason why Chicago lost the Amazon sweepstakes.
"Economic development has been badly broken in NY for some time", Teachout concluded, "but this proposed deal is grotesque in its scope and audacity".
"The Dallas bid for Amazon HQ2 was a phenomenal example of our city leaders and a broad mix of private sector players working in concert".
Sure, Amazon shimmied into Virginia and got everything it wanted.