New York and North Virginia had been chosen in November to join Seattle as the locations of Amazon's headquarters in North America. Investment of US$5bn (£3.9bn) had been earmarked for the developments (link opens in new tab).
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” said a statement from the company. “For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. 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.”
Amazon had run a major competition to choose the locations for the additional headquarters. It has said that it does not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time and that it will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia. It will also continue with a planned development in Nashville - where it intends create 5,000 jobs in a new operations centre – and will continue to hire and grow across its 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada.
There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island; the company said that it plans to continue growing these teams.
Amazon’s statement added: “We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.”