Last week, without issue, Virginia officials approved granting Amazon up to $750 million in incentives for its new headquarters in the Crystal City area.
In its statement, Amazon blamed the attitude of local officials but commended both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their work on the deal. Cuomo joked last year that he d change his name to Amazon Cuomo in order to lure the company to New York.
A small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state, Cuomo said in a statement.
The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.
In response to the news that Amazon was canceling its Long Island City plans, de Blasio said: You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity.
Amazon, which publicly acknowledged that it would not support the unionization of its New York City employees, also faced backlash from various labor organizations.
“Rather than addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised by many New Yorkers, Amazon says you do it our way or not at all, we will not even consider the concerns of New Yorkers – that’s not what a responsible business would do,” Chelsea Connor, a spokesperson for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said in a statement on Thursday.
Both 32BJ SEIU and the Building and Construction Trades Council — major supporters of the mayor and governor, respectively — have backed the Amazon deal. Gary LaBarbera, president of the BCTC, said he sat down with Amazon s head of real estate the day after the company announced it would move to New York. The company, LaBarbera told The Real Deal in an interview, committed to using all-union labor for the construction of its headquarters. He lamented that the city was missing out on $27 billion in economic activity — the revenue the Cuomo administration estimated that the Amazon deal would generate.
“We are stunned by today’s unfortunate news. Politics and pandering have won out over a once-in-a-generation investment in New York City’s economy, bringing with it tens of thousands of solid middle class jobs, Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council, said in a statement. In a revised statement, he added, We will remember which legislators forgot about us and this opportunity.”
He identified Gianaris and City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer and asked, What s their plan to create $27 billion in economic activity? Rich Bockmann contributed reporting. Tags: amazon, Amazon HQ2, Commercial Real Estate, long island city
We are having some technical difficulties. Try again later.