In September of 2017, Amazon announced that it wanted a second home, a headquarters entirely equal in size and capability as its current Seattle office. This massive move sent 237 counties across the nation sending in tax incentive plans exclusive to Amazon to try and secure the bid. Some politicians even famously made commercials directed at Amazon to change the name of their town if they were selected. This was so important to the counties because it promised upward of $5B to build the new corporate site, 50,000 new jobs created, and as much tax revenue as one can imagine.
After much deliberation, Amazon threw a curveball and announced that it has selected two new sites instead of one – Queens, NY and Arlington, VA. Some opposed the multibillion tax break in NY. These activists called Amazon everyday, explaining that they would oppose everything Amazon stood for and did not welcome Amazon in Queens. The opposition stemmed from the rise in living expenses and increased traffic. Arlington accepted Amazon and rejoiced in its selection and future economic boom.
Unfortunately, Amazon listened to the naysayers and pulled out of the Queens location. In a statement released, Amazon cited that nearly 70% of New Yorkers supported their plan, however the politicians, namely the controversial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, cruel public hearings, protests, and negative publicity ruined the deal for them. Ultimately, Amazon officially pulled out of their deal on Valentine’s Day.
Amazon has not released many other details regarding their plan going forward, or how this may effect their Virginia campus decision. Experts believe that Jeff Bezos’ personal life, namely his divorce, has also had an adverse financial effect on the feasibility of such large projects. All in all, it is clear that this project did not work out, but Amazon will still continue to be the reigning champion in e-commerce for years to come wherever their headquarters may be.
What should Amazon’s next step be? Were they too harsh on New York?
Some call this an “abuse of corporate power”, do you agree?