Amazon pulls out of LIC plans after pushback
After a surge of intense backlash from New York City politicians and concerned residents, Amazon has rethought the decision to open a second headquarters in Queens.
The critical response arose after local politicians like House freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drummed up constituent support when Amazon first announced its plans back in November. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to eliminate significant taxes on the massive company if it chose New York City as its second home.
Though much demanded, the pullout still shocked developers and state officials.
“Amazon’s decision not to move ahead is a loss for New York City and especially Queens,” Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein said.
“Unfortunately, those who advocated against Amazon took a very short-sighted approach and did a tremendous disservice to our community — especially to a generation of young people, many from low- and moderate-income families who stood a chance to be trained and obtain jobs in the tech sector.”
With the move, Amazon promised to bring in 25,000 jobs.
Even so, local politicians and residents were still concerned about rising property values in the surrounding Long Island City area and even longer commute delays due to the inevitable population influx.
“They rejected our values of supporting working people and were unwilling to work with our local communities toward a mutually beneficial resolution,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said in a statement.
“New York has the best tech work force in the nation, much of which is here in Queens, so if Amazon wants to take their jobs somewhere else with a lesser work force so they can undercut wages and workers’ rights, that’s their