New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says Amazon “threw away” their opportunity in his city.
The retail giant announced Thursday that it was dropping their plans to build a new headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Despite promising to bring 25,000 new jobs to the area, the company faced fierce local opposition over the tax incentives it was offered, as well as the effects the massive new headquarters could have on existing residents.
In a statement, Amazon said it was disappointed in the outcome. But the company thanked de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who they said “enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process.” In his own statement, de Blasio was somewhat less gracious.
“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. We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will.”
The New York Democrat is also scheduled to speak at a forum Thursday night at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Amazon says it will not reopen its HQ2 search process, but plans to proceed with expansion plans in Northern Virginia and Nashville.
Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has been leading the effort to organize Amazon’s warehouse workers, also blasted the e-commerce giant.
“Amazon showed its true colors today and every American should be outraged. Jeff Bezos had the opportunity to listen to the voices of working families and support the good-paying jobs New Yorkers deserve. But now we can see this is all about blind greed and Jeff Bezos’ belief that everyday taxpayers should foot the bill for their new headquarters even as the company actively works to eliminate millions of American retail jobs. No company that refuses to invest in hardworking men and women should be allowed to stuff their pockets with taxpayer-funded subsidies. Make no mistake, this fight has only begun.”