Amazon has said it will not build a new headquarters in New York, citing fierce opposition from state and local politicians. The dramatic turnabout comes just months after the firm named New York City one of two sites selected for major expansion over the next decades. City and state leaders had agreed to provide about US$3bn in incentives to secure that investment.
The news capped a 14-month search for a new site that saw cities and towns across North America competing to woo the e-commerce giant.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio championed the project, which Amazon said would generate more than US$ 10bn in new tax revenue in New York.
Polls had found that a majority of New Yorkers also supported Amazon's plan.
However, it drew opposition from unions, members of the City Council and others, including newly elected Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, angry over the billions in incentives promised to one of the world's most valuable companies.
The risk of rising rents, which have spurred tensions in Amazon's hometown of Seattle, were also a concern. Opponents celebrated Amazon's decision on Thursday.
When our community fights together, anything is possible, even when we're up against the biggest corporation in the world, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said.
Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city and state forever.
Amazon supporters said the critics were short-sighted. They said they were worried about the long-term economic consequences as populist messages appear to gain traction.
The New York Senate has done tremendous damage, Gov Cuomo said. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.
Amazon said it would not look for an alternative headquarters site, but would move forward as planned at the site near the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. It will also distribute its growth across its offices in the US and Canada.
Polls showed support among the public, but Amazon, which prides itself on being a nimble business despite its size, didn't become a giant by embracing battles with the potential to tarnish its consumer-focused brand.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
MAJOR Victory for AOC! America's brightest congressman/economist! BRILLIANT!Feb 17th, 2019 - 06:01 pm 0