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Amazon exploring potential alternatives to New York HQ

09 February 2019

Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Amazon said in November it would branch out from its home base in Seattle with plans to create more than 25,000 jobs in both New York City and an area just outside Washington, D.C. The company said it will receive performance-based incentives of $1.525 billion from the state of NY, including an average $48,000 for each job it creates. "If Amazon's view is they'll only come here if they get $3bn of our dollars, then they shouldn't be here". They oppose the almost US$3 billion of financial incentives Amazon won from the city and state, and say the influx of new well-paid workers could push out existing residents and add to congestion on the already overcrowded subway.

Shawn Dixon (left) worries about his neighborhood and business when Amazon comes to town.

Could political resistance to, what critics denounce as "corporate welfare" in NY create an opening for Chicago to re-enter the Amazon sweepstakes? Amazon chose the location anyway, since the city offered a large skilled-labor pool, and ample opportunities for spouses and partners of recruited hires to find employment to further their own careers, the person said. During two hearings, the New York City Council - which isn't part of the approvals process for the project - has harshly criticized the plan, too. Even before these subsidies, New York City has been struggling to fund acceptable public transportation and affordable housing.

This much is certain: The plan to give Amazon tax breaks of $3 billion to come to Long Island City has been met with resistance and backlash from some local groups and politicians, nearly since the day it was announced that the area was co-winner of an RFP process that attracted more than 200 proposals from across North America. "Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be".

Though the NYC mayor has advocated for the project since its inception, de Blasio may be feeling the heat from his constituents.

In a statement, Gimenez said he is ready to start things up again whenever Amazon is. "If they stop Amazon from coming to NY, they're going to have the people of NY to explain it to", he said on Friday, according to Capital Tonight reporter Nick Reisman.

"I think it's really encouraging to show that government and all of us primarily have a responsibility to the communities that we directly impact", Ocasio-Cortez told CNN on Friday. Last month, it ran a print advertisement in some of New York's biggest daily newspapers, wishing residents a happy New Year and pledging to work with and listen to the community.

Van Bramer opposes the deal while admitting the projected 25,000 jobs are important.

However, NYC residents, as well as high-profile NY politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been very outspoken against Amazon coming to the city.

NY also offered up to $505 million in subsidies.

Amazon exploring potential alternatives to New York HQ