Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

amazon-headquarters-1200x0

After citizens, civic groups, and New York politicians cast doubt about the state’s joy over Amazon’s earlier decision to open one of two new satellite headquarters campuses in Queens, Amazon issued a statement that it will not build in New York City. The company will not look for a replacement site but will continue with its plans for projects in Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Here are the first two paragraphs of today’s statement:

After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70 percent 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.

We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture — and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.

Virginia is reportedly happy with Amazon’s plans to build the second of two remote headquarters in Arlington. Tennessee is all-in on the prospect of 5,000 new employees at a new Amazon facility, to the tune of a $15.2 million state-supported infrastructure package including roads, sewers, and more.

But New York didn’t feel the love.

Contrasting New York’s reception of Amazon’s expansion plans to the incentive-loaded open arms extended by Virginia and Tennessee, an unnamed source clued into Amazon said: “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming.”

When Amazon announced its selection of Long Island City, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Amazon’s presence would generate $27 billion in projected tax income, millions of square feet of headquarters commercial space, and as many as 40,000 new jobs.

After the announcement, New York state and Big Apple politicians challenged the decision with a fervor that continued to intensify.

Freshman U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the politicians, officials, and citizen groups posing resistance to Amazon’s project. Among other points, the detractors drew comparisons to Amazon’s primary headquarters city, particularly Seattle’s housing crisis, transportation system, and the growing financial disparity between those who do and those who do not work for Amazon.

After earlier reports that Amazon might reconsider a New York location for a remote headquarters, Cuomo didn’t hold back when The Washington Post asked him to comment.

“It’s a very small group of politicians who are pandering to the local politics,” Cuomo said. “The problem is the state senate has adopted that position, and that’s what could stop Amazon. And if they do, I would not want to be a Democratic senator coming back to my district to explain why Amazon left. … It is the largest economic development transaction in the history of the state of New York.”

But now the decision is made, and Amazon isn’t going to build a New York headquarters.

Updated February 14, 2019, with the news that Amazon has canceled plans to build a headquarters in NYC.

Emerging Tech

Singapore uses its smart city tech to help citizens cut through the red tape

Like many governments, Singapore’s puts citizens through plenty of red tape. But as part of its smart-city initiatives, the government is using tech to remove layers of bureaucracy.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Mobile

AT&T adds Minneapolis and Chicago to its mobile 5G road map for 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.