Citing opposition from state and local politicians, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) said it will no longer carry out plans to build a second headquarters in the Long Island City section of Queens in New York City. A recent Siena College Research Institute poll found approximately 56% of New York City residents supported the deal.
Opponents of Amazon’s New York City plans objected primarily to the tax cuts America’s largest e-commerce company was promised in return for its decision. Several politicians have put this sum at over $3 billion. Residents are more concerned about what will happen to the cost of homes and rentals if Amazon hires 25,000 people to work at the facility.
New York is now losing a boost to the city’s economy both via jobs and new construction. The Amazon HQ2, as the location is called, had the support of both Mayor de Blasio and New York Governor Cuomo. They each argued that Amazon eventually will pay taxes and that workers hired by the company will be paid immediately. This is also the case for people with jobs indirectly supporting Amazon’s efforts, which run from construction workers to restaurant employees. Had the employment boost panned out as hoped, New York City might have helped buck the national trend of Southern and Western cities dominating rankings of cities adding the most jobs.
Since Amazon carefully vetted the 20 cities that were finalists in the HQ2 race, and Northern Virginia has taken one spot, the 18 remaining finalist locations on the list presumably already have been through some level of negotiations to win. And, presumably, all have met Amazon’s major criteria, having hit almost all the benchmarks Amazon put in the request for proposal delivered to every city that went through the original bid process.
Among the criteria were that the location targets had to be:
- Metropolitan areas with more than a million people
- Stable and business-friendly environments
- Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
- Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
Amazon also staked out locations with existing buildings for its new workers or locations were appropriate facilities could be built. And it said the targets had to offer tax incentives, an existing labor force that could fill most jobs, a robust infrastructure and a location near a major airport. Long Island City had all these.
These are the 18 other locations on the Amazon finalist list that could be the likely alternatives now that it has abandoned Long Island City:
- Austin, Texas
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Washington, D.C.