As announced for many months, Amazon was planning to open its second official headquarters in New York. On February 14, the company said it had definitively given up.
The opening of a new Amazon headquarters in New York would have been of great benefit to the city. Indeed, it promised an investment of 2.5 billion dollars in the Big Apple, as well as the creation of 25,000 jobs. While in 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to create 100,000 jobs, the Amazon installation would have put New York on the right track to achieve that goal. It might even have been the start of a new era for the city. The installation of such an economic giant would have shown that New York is ready to become an important technological hub, and would thus have drawn in its wake many other companies and start-ups in the sector. It would also have allowed the city to further diversify its economy; and ultimately to prove that California is no longer necessarily the best option for tech companies in the United States.
Although the new headquarters had many advantages for the city, many New Yorkers opposed it. A protest campaign organized on social networks against the giant Amazon has had a lot of impact in this regard. Some were particularly worried that this arrival would open the door to real estate speculation in Long Island City and its surrounding neighborhoods. But strong criticism has also been expressed about the fact that the city had agreed to grant Amazon substantial tax advantages in order to be able to gain its favor over other cities. But this shortfall, according to the protesters, could have benefited the maintenance of the public transport network, public schools, and the most underprivileged, …
In the end, Amazon decided to cancel its project, believing that it was not as beneficial as initially expected. The company recently said on its blog that it will no longer pursue the idea of a second New York headquarters, even though, according to executives, a large majority of New Yorkers supported the project: “Although polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our projects and investments, several politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and thus would not collaborate with us to establish the relationships required for the advancement of these projects that we, and many others, were planning for Long Island City.”
We could have said that, despite the protesters, Amazon would still have settled in New York since the majority was apparently in favor. However, the group’s management feared that this would tarnish the brand image too much, given the amount of negative press received since the announcement of their new New York headquarters. This change in Amazon’s decision could have serious repercussions for the city over time, proving to businesses, once again if needed, that settling in New York is not that easy.