Amazon’s HQ2 in Long Island City is no longer: The e-commerce giant announced today that it was withdrawing its plans to bring part of its second North American headquarters to New York City, citing the fierce backlash that has been steadily growing since those plans were first announced.
“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,” Amazon said in a statement announcing its decision.
Reactions to the news have been swift, and come from all corners: Pro-Amazon groups like the Real Estate Board of New York, the Partnership for Long Island City, and the Association for a Better New York have decried Amazon’s decision. Groups that opposed the deal, like Make the Road NY, New York Communities for Change, and Primed Out NYC, meanwhile, have been cheering.
Here’s how elected officials (and some Democratic presidential hopefuls) are responding to the news:
You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 14, 2019
(Comptroller Scott Stringer clapped back on that one)
.@NYCMayor with all due respect, you made this deal in secret with no community input from LIC residents.— Scott M. Stringer (@NYCComptroller) February 14, 2019
While Amazon is no angel, they played by your rules.
The early takeaway from this: don't be afraid of transparency and community inclusion. https://t.co/MPFUj6B1KX
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
The Amazon deal was a mess. $3 billion in subsidies for a trillion dollar company, pushed through by 2 men who think community engagement is a joke. This is why you bring local residents and stakeholders to the table *before* claiming victory. https://t.co/cfZxopk2fL— Melissa Mark-Viverito (@MMViverito) February 14, 2019
.@Amazon – one of the wealthiest companies on the planet – just walked away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren't sucking up to them enough. How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage? https://t.co/O9pz7en43B— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 14, 2019
There have been jokes:
between the L train not shutting down and Amazon pulling out this has been a really rough time for opportunist real estate speculators :( please keep them in your thoughts— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) February 14, 2019
“Why I’m Leaving New York,” by Jeff Bezos— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 14, 2019
amazon cuomo still doesn't get to change his name back to andrew tho— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) February 14, 2019
can we get a special edition of the New York Times The Hunt column about all the amazon execs who bought condos in LIC already— rachel syme (@rachsyme) February 14, 2019
Amazon May Look Like A Trillion-Dollar Company But It Is Actually A Delicate And Rare Flower Species That You Idiots Killed With Some City Council Hearings And Angry Tweets— Christopher Robbins (@ChristRobbins) February 14, 2019
Remember when you bought something stupid, and you’re parents made you return it? That just happened (times a billion) to Gov. Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio #boom— Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) February 14, 2019
Some people are rejoicing:
While some are concerned about what this means for NYC:
To help more New Yorkers thrive in a fast-changing economy, NYC needs— Center for an Urban Future (@nycfuture) February 14, 2019
✅Good jobs in growing industries
✅Major new investments in workforce development and education
✅Revitalized infrastructure across all five boroughs.
Losing #AmazonHQ2 accomplishes none of these goals.
Vishaan, I agree that New York handled this horribly, looks ridiculous, and loses big time. But “through”? Come on, now. This was a unique circumstance in every way, including its bizarre process, and some of the backlash is due to that. https://t.co/ctZz5Z6427— Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger) February 14, 2019