Amazon is reportedly reconsidering its decision to build its second headquarter in New York City due to a torrent of public opposition.
Executives have had internal discussions and are said to be reassessing the situation, the Washington Post reported, citing two unnamed sources connected to the company.
“The mayor fully expects Amazon to deliver on its promise to New Yorkers,” De Blasio’s spokesman, Eric Phillips, said on Friday.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Amazon said: “We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbours – small business owners, educators, and community leaders. 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 neighbour we will be.”
Last month, protesters interrupted Amazon’s New York City council hearing by unfurling a banner that read “Amazon delivers lies”. Several politicians have also expressed their opposition.
In anticipation of a possible re-assessment from Amazon, at least 10 community organisations planned a “No amazon Day of Outreach” last Saturday to survey which Queens communities will be most affected by the proposed multi-billion-dollar deal.
Amazons’ plans to build a new HQ will supposedly bring 25,000 jobs to New York, but critics have argued that the company will get $3bn (£2.3bn) in tax breaks and subsidies.
Last Friday (Feb.8th), Gov. Andrew Cuomo also warned critics Amazon’s proposed secondary headquarters could “sink” New York’s biggest ever economic deal.
When referring to the Post’s report, Cuomo accused the State Senate of “governmental malpractice” and pandering.
“For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice. And if they stop Amazon from coming to New York, they’re going to have the people of the state of New York to explain it to,” Cuomo was quoted as saying in a CNN report.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the chairman of the Senate, nominated Michael Gianaris earlier last week as a member of the state Public Authorities Control Board, which could result in the subsidies being approved by the board.
Virginia supports HQ2
Unlike New York, elected officials in Virginia are backing the company’s plan to build HQ2. The Post reported that Tennessee has also “embraced plans for a smaller facility”.
“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,” said one source.
According to the report, the company has not leased or purchased office space for the project, and final approval from New York State is not expected until 2020.