Amazon has been on the hunt for a second home and in November, Long Island City was chosen. The one-stop-shop behemoth announced grand plans to rejuvenate the neighborhood and bring with it more than 25,000 jobs. A heroic move that would inspire economic growth. Or it seemed.
The announcement spurred backlash from activists and lawmakers who claimed the $3 billion that was required for to build the new Amazon HQ was unnecessary and unethical. There were also fears that the new headquarters would speed gentrification, pushing out long-time residents.
The public response became so hostile that the company retracted their decision, stating on Thursday, “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.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supported the withdrawal and praised the “dedicated, everyday New Yorkers,” who protested the proposal. According to CNBC, New York State Senator, Michael Gianaris, who presides over the district of the potential headquarters, stated, “When they come in and take over a community like that, the community dies.”
So, there’s that. Now what?
Although there is no hope in finding a home in Queens, Amazon doesn’t plan to leave New York. Instead, they plan to increase the number of their employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island by 5,000, via The Intelligencer.
The rejection of the headquarters comes at a controversial time for CEO Jeff Bezos, as just last week he was in the media after being on the receiving end of blackmail, threatening to release his nudes.