The evidence is mounting that Amazon's New York HQ2 deal is in trouble
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
- Amazon is reportedly reconsidering its plans to open part of its HQ2 in New York City, following local backlash.
- Many New York politicians and residents have pushed back against Amazon's HQ2 plans since the company announced in November that it would open a campus and bring 25,000 jobs to the city.
- "The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in New York don't want the project," one person familiar with Amazon's plans told the Washington Post.
Amazon's plan to open a second headquarters in New York City may be in danger.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Amazon is reconsidering its plan to open a campus in New York City, citing two people familiar with the company's thinking.
Amazon's plan to open a second headquarters and bring 25,000 jobs to Long Island City, Queens, has faced backlash since it was announced in November. At the time, Amazon said it would open two HQ2 campuses - one in Virginia and one in New York.
"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," one person familiar with Amaozn's plans told the Washington Post.
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the news that Amazon would develop HQ2 in New York City, other New York politicians have been less welcoming.
The New York State Senate majority recently nominated Sen. Michael Gianaris, a vocal opponent to HQ2, to a seat on the New York State Public Authorities Control Board. While he has not yet been confirmed, in this position, Gianaris could veto financing and construction of Amazon's campus, essentially killing the project.
For opponents to Amazon's HQ2 plans, this veto vote could be a game changer. Corey Johnson, speaker of the New York City Council, indicated in an interview with Business Insider in December that a board vote would be the best hope of stopping the HQ2 project.
"There is precedent for the board rejecting plans and cancelling large, ambitious projects or throwing their future into great uncertainty," Business Insider's Dennis Green reported. "In 2005, the board rejected a $2.2 billion plan spearheaded by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a redevelopment that would have included a stadium on Manhattan's West Side to be used by the New York Jets and, possibly, for the 2012 Olympic Games."
The Washington Post notes that Amazon does not currently have specific plans to abandon New York City. A representative for Amazon did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment. But, a source told the publication that Amazon will need to make a decision soon, as the company needs to start hiring or risk falling behind on the project.
Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth told the Washington Post: "We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors - 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 neighbor we will be."
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