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Amazon's New HQ in NYC? Uh, About That.

Mega-retailer reconsiders amid political power-shift
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2019 4:00 PM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2019 5:00 PM CST
In this file photo, Sen. Deputy Majority Leader, Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, speaks with reporters after listening to New York Gov.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
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(Newser) – The world's most valuable public company may not bring 25,000 new jobs to New York City after all, the Washington Post reports. Amazon.com—which chose to split its upcoming second headquarters between New York and Arlington, Virginia, after a highly publicized yearlong search—is said to be reconsidering the New York move. "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," an insider tells the Post (Nashville will get a smaller, 5,000-job campus). At issue is the election of New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris, a vocal Amazon critic, to a state board where he might nix the deal. Gianaris isn't thrilled about the $3 billion in city and state incentives promised to the mega-retailer.

"We can't find two nickels to rub together to make the subways run on time or to build affordable housing or to build enough schools for our kids—in this very neighborhood, mind you—and yet we're showering Jeff Bezos with all this money that he clearly doesn't need," Gianaris tells CNN. Not to mention that City Council has twice confronted Amazon executives at hearings where activists booed them, and officials including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are strident critics of the Amazon move. So far Amazon brass is mulling whether to delay initial New York investments but hasn't decided to choose another city, per the Wall Street Journal. That said, other cities are salivating—as these Miami Herald and Chicago Tribune pieces make clear. (Meanwhile, Bezos is involved in a much more salacious public battle.)

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