By Farrah Khan
Amazon has officially pulled out of a highly controversial deal agreement to build their 2nd Headquarters in New York. Although recent polls have indicated that about 70% of New Yorkers were in agreement with having the Tech giant come to Long Island City, many local residents and community leaders expressed strong opposition to the new headquarters.
City and State officials were able to negotiate terms under which Amazon would be forced to abide, a mutual agreement that would be taken off the table in the event of a breach or failure to uphold. Amazon was due to bring in at least 25,000 high paying jobs and $27.5 billion dollars in local tax revenue earmarked for community development and strengthening the communities’ infrastructure. In return, Amazon was to gain $3 billion dollars in tax breaks and government funding, which include the city’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP) and the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) grants.
In a sudden decision, Amazon has decided to pull out of having their new headquarters in New York City, given the backlash they’ve been receiving by the community and lack of grassroots support. Although it was widely believed that having their headquarters here in New York would benefit both parties, the company felt the community was not open to working with them to build the relationships necessary to move forward. Mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor have tried to contact Jeff Bezos to see if they could come to an agreement and save the deal but have not received a response. According to the New York Times, Mayor De Blasio had some strong comments on the situation: “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.”
Some leaders say that Amazon’s decision to cancel the deal was a strategic negotiation tactic to gain more out of NYC. However, Amazon will continue to move forward with building their second headquarters in the Virginia area with no indication they are searching for other cities to bid for their next office.