LOCAL NEWS

Amazon may be rethinking proposed N.Y. headquarters due to outcry

Feb 10, 2019, 8:28 AM
amazon new york...
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

It seems as though word about Seattle’s experience with Amazon made it New York, and while many Seattleities are panicking about the winter storm, New Yorkers are doing the same over the potential arrival of the giant online retailer.

According to a report by the Washington Post, Amazon executives have gotten the jitters over building a new campus in New York City that would bring 25,000 jobs.

This is following an outcry from a few local politicians and advocacy groups, who are opposed to massive incentive packages as well as the potential impact on the local community. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the move, however.

No ground has been broken and no office space purchased, and final approval isn’t expected until 2020, so it wouldn’t be difficult for Amazon to reverse their decision and hightail it out of there. It would be in the case of Virginia — the other HQ2 golden ticket winner — where local leaders have already passed a vast incentive package.

RELATED: Will Amazon HQ2 plans move Seattle’s housing crisis to the East Coast?

Amazon is placing one HQ in Long Island City (in the borough of Queens in New York City) and another in Crystal City, Virginia (in Arlington County).

Many have looked to Seattle as patient zero for the footprint the giant retailer leaves. According to Builder, rental prices before 2010 in Seattle were actually level with the national average. But once Amazon established its presence over the next seven years, median rental rates skyrocketed over 41 percent, while rental prices nationwide went up just 17.6 percent.

Prices for buyers saw an even more dramatic uptick, increasing over 83 percent between 2010 and 2017, almost double the national rate.

New York locals probably heard as much and more recently when councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Teresa Mosqueda — who were instrumental in initially pushing the Amazon head tax — went to New York to speak to local activists groups about Seattle’s experience.

RELATED: Rantz: Seattle council members on mission to sabotage Amazon in NY

As it stands, the project in New York has neither been abandoned nor concretely committed to, as details are still being worked out, though some opposition groups hope to put up enough resistance to convince Amazon to take their business elsewhere.

So while New York won’t have an Amazon headquarters anytime soon, they have had one Amazon-related feature Seattle is long familiar with: Protests.

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Amazon may be rethinking proposed N.Y. headquarters due to outcry