Amazon is canceling its plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing backlash from members of the community, CNN reported.
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Amazon noted that “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 selected New York City and Northern Virginia in November to split duty as its second headquarters (nicknamed HQ2) after a year-long search. Each city was expected to have more than 25,000 workers over time.
The new headquarters was initially framed by top New York politicians including Governor Andrew Cuomo as a tremendous job creation opportunity that could benefit the broader New York region. All at once, it seemed to cement New York City as a technology hub that could truly rival Silicon Valley, CNN adds.
After the deal was announced, however, critics blasted the $1.525 billion in incentives New York offered to lure the tech behemoth and worried that it would soon lead to longtime residents being priced out of their homes. Protesters took to the streets in Long Island City, criticizing the deal for being bad for taxpayers and the neighborhood.
Amazon’s decision on Thursday was met with a mix of disappointment and jabs from politicians frustrated by the company’s decision to walk away rather than engage with the community’s concerns.
“You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet Thursday.