Amazon has announced that it will not proceed with building its HQ2 in New York City. The company spent a year searching for just the right location for its new headquarters. Just when it looked like they had found the right location in NYC, politicians and local activists raised objections because of the incentives being offered to Amazon. The opposition also cited concerns over the impact that Amazon’s presence in New York would have on the local infrastructure.
The massive project would have brought 25,000 new jobs into the New York area, but politicians said that the local infrastructure and transportation system would not support that many new jobs in the area.
An Amazon spokesperson commented, “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.”
Most Cities Eager to Have Amazon HQ2
Amazon’s secondary locations for the HQ2 projects are Nashville, TN and Arlington County, VA. Though the New York representative strongly opposed the project, it has had no objections moving through the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia will offer Amazon an extensive list of incentives to build their HQ2 location in its state.
As mentioned, the project will bring at least 25,000 new jobs to the area but it will also put a strain on local resources. Amazon has promised to spend the money to develop a more extensive transportation system in the area. They will also provide other types of assistance for the local infrastructure such as improvements to roads, water treatment facilities, and real estate.
Amazon had worked to cull the list of bidders down to only 20 as many cities across America expressed strong interest in obtaining the contract for HQ2’s new home. Most local and state governments were willing to give Amazon anything they asked for in order to get the bid. Their presence in any city results in a massive amount of economic gains for the community.
Though New York has also been a major contender for developments like this, a recent report from real estate brokerage firm Savills shows that London and San Francisco also have large pools of qualified workers and the technology to handle Amazon’s presence.
Is Amazon’s Presence All Positive?
Many experts have complained about the bidding war spawned by Amazon’s search for a new home for HQ2. Criticism has been extensive surrounding how ugly the whole process becomes as each city/state strives to make its case to Amazon.
University professor, Richard Florida tweeted that:
Amazon has shown its true colors. It refuses to deal reasonably with its hometown of Seattle or any community that asks for it to pay its freight. This is abusive & shows how awful the entire process was & is.