NEW YORK – Amazon.com Inc. said it’s pulling out of a plan to build a headquarters in New York City, after a backlash from some residents and politicians.
The e-commerce giant had pledged to hire 25,000 tech workers in coming years with an average salary of $150,000. Almost immediately after Amazon announced last year that it chose Long Island City in Queens as one of two sites to build new corporate offices, local lawmakers and community organizers began to question the project, which was backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“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,” Amazon said in a statement.
Amazon — the largest online retailer, run by the world’s richest man — was criticized for almost $3 billion of financial incentives the company won from the city and New York state. There were also concerns that an influx of new, highly paid workers might have pushed out existing residents and added to congestion on the already-overcrowded subway.
“We do not intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time,” Amazon said. The Seattle-based company plans to proceed with other major new offices in Northern Virginia and Nashville. “We will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada,” it added.
Alistair Barr is a reporter for Bloomberg News.