Long Island City, Queens will not become a new headquarters location for Amazon after all, the tech company announced today.
“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,” Amazon explained in a statement. “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.”
According to the New York Times, some local lawmakers deeply opposed Amazon’s decision to set up camp in the city, mainly because of the reported $3 billion in tax breaks the company was set to receive.
Amazon has flexed its muscles once before when it comes to tax initiatives.
In May of last year, the company ceased construction on a new building in downtown Seattle and threatened to sublease another new skyscraper if the city voted to impose a head tax on employees at businesses that grossed at least $20 million annually. Seattle’s City Council eventually voted to approve a reduced head tax, then, weeks later, repealed that same tax. Construction resumed on Amazon’s downtown buildings.
Despite its recent headquarters cancelation, Amazon said it will continue to grow its offices located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, which currently employ about 5,000 workers. The company will also move forward with its plans to establish a new headquarters in Virginia and an operations center in Nashville.
“We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process,” the company said. “The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.”