No, Amazon probably isn't walking away from NYC, and here's why

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the company's thinking, the Washington Post reported on Friday that Amazon "is reconsidering its plan to bring 25,000 jobs to a new campus in New York City following a wave of opposition from local politicians".

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 has been derided by some NY politicians, who have been critical of the project and its almost $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.

Any major multinational would have multiple reasons to expand in New York City, given its highly skilled workforce and status as a hub for the technology, entertainment and advertising industries-all areas where Amazon is expanding.

Cuomo said NY would be able to "count on one hand the number of millionaires left in New York" if taxes go up. Reportedly, Amazon is already considering either moving the entire East Coast headquarters to Virginia, or to other cities that were on the Amazon short list. After learning about this possible stall, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Twitter that the state is in talks with Amazon about possibly moving the headquarters to CT.

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At this point there's no official word from Amazon, but it's important to note that the Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO. Michael Gianaris, a bitter critic of the deal, to the Public Authorities Control Board, which reviews and approves state-based economic development subsidies.

In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it was working to engage with New Yorkers, but did not discuss whether it would change its plans.

A spokesperson for Miami WorldCenter, which had been considered as a potential landing spot for a hypothetical Miami HQ2, said Amazon has not gotten back in touch about any new projects. But as a resident of upstate NY, I couldn't help but be a little grateful that so many new jobs might be coming to boost the economy. But the only South Side site to which the Amazon team returned for multiple site visits was the South Loop mega-site known as "the 78".

If Amazon is reconsidering its Long Island City campus, it's not telling close partners on the project.

Days later, the State Senate nominated NY senator Michael Gianaris, a vocal opponent of the Amazon deal and a representative for the district where its new headquarters is slated to be, to the Public Authorities Control Board, which ultimately has to approve the Amazon deal in order for it to go forward. A third city, Nashville, won an Amazon operations hub with 5,000 workers. Plus, adding 25,000 high-paying jobs to this corner of Queens will only make gentrification worse, activists warn. "I am against the deal that has been proposed and don't believe that it can form the foundation of a negotiation", Gianaris recently told the New York Times. But apparently New York's population is different, and that threatens those people. Amazon has done so in Northern Virginia.

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