Amazon reconsidering New York HQ2 plan

Gov. Cuomo fires broadsides at Senate Dems over Amazon opposition and taxes

After a highly publicized search for a second headquarters, Amazon in November announced it was splitting the expansion between the NY neighborhood of Long Island City and Northern Virginia's Crystal City.

Following Friday's Washington Post report, Crain's Chicago Business reported that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had already reached out to Amazon officials asking them to reconsider Chicago as an HQ2 location.

"We are the only global city in America with the talent, tax favorable environment and tactical position to fit a global logistics company like Amazon", he said in a statement. Michael Gianaris, a Democrat who represents Long Island City and is a leading critic of the agreement.

Bill Montana was schmoozing with real estate brokers Thursday at an industry event in NY, talking about the biggest deal in years: Amazon.com Inc.'s decision to build a major campus in Queens.

The shares initially dipped when the Washington Post report was posted Friday but then quickly gained back some of the loss.

The Memorandum of Understanding between Amazon, the state, and the city says that the parties have until March 11th to conduct due diligence, and that the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency shepherding the project through, would approve it in November.

One supporter of the deal Van Bramer spoke to "seemed genuinely anxious, and that led me to believe that it was real", he said.

Amazon has not yet closed deals on NY property and thus still has the chance to back away from its initial plan if it wants to.

When asked if Amazon would consider Newark in light of the Washington Post article, a company spokesperson told TAPinto Newark the retail giant is focused on engaging with its new neighbors in New York City. Plus, adding 25,000 high-paying jobs to this corner of Queens will only make gentrification worse, activists warn.

"A major problem is the way the deal was put together shrouded in secrecy and ignoring what New Yorkers want and need", he said. But the only South Side site to which the Amazon team returned for multiple site visits was the South Loop mega-site known as "the 78".

However, no final decisions have been made at this point, says the paper. Several welcomed the news that Amazon might be rethinking the plan. Now he has been recommended to serve on the Public Authorities Control Board, which has veto power over a $500 million construction grant that was part of the construction deal with Amazon.

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. Effectively, Amazon would repopulate a neighborhood and would help Arlington County, Va. with a long-stated goal of revitalizing their community. "And if they stop Amazon from coming to New York, they're going to have the people of New York State to explain it to". NY residents fear the same will happen to them. However, if Amazon were to follow through on the alleged threat and pull out from the plan, it could impact agencies and brands alike.

Soon after the Post report was published an article published by The New York Times said the Post report had "gone too far and Amazon had no plans to back out".

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