The rumors are true – Amazon has officially canceled plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, New York, after facing significant opposition from local politicians who protested tax breaks for one of the world’s more powerful companies.
The company announced Thursday that is has opted to withdraw its plans for a Queens headquarters because a successful effort would require collaboration and support from local officials.
It also said it will not reopen a search for a new location, instead focusing on its plans to build a second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and an operations center in Nashville, as well as growing the 17 other offices and tech hubs it runs in the U.S. and Canada.
“While polls show that 70% 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,” the company wrote in a statement posted to its website.
Amazon said there are currently 5,000 employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, and that it plans to continue expanding these teams. It also thanked Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, who supported its plans in the face of opposition from other elected officials.
Just last week, speculation arose that Amazon might take this step as protests against the Queens location grew louder. Opponents were knocking on doors in the area to talk to residents about the rent hikes and displacement that could happen if Amazon settled in, and city council meetings were dominated by rowdy activists demanding that officials take a stand against the company.
It seems their voices were heard.
“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion – we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture – and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents,” Amazon wrote.