Unable to Build A Constructive Relationship in the Midst of Fierce Opposition

Amazon Cancels Plan to Build in Long Island City

Updated 30 weeks ago David Stone
The Ferry Landing at Gantry Park in New York City will not become so busy after all.
The Ferry Landing at Gantry Park in New York City will not become so busy after all.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

"After much thought and deliberation, we've decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens," Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement.


In the statement, Amazon noted that "a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."

Although Amazon forgoes $3 billion in State and City subsidies with this move, the loss to New York City is far greater. A minimum of 25,000 good paying jobs, worth far more than the incentives, evaporates, as does promises of building a new public school, investments in job training for public housing residents and job incentives for low income applicants.

In the New York Times, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who spearheaded protests against Amazon, said the decision revealed Amazon’s unwillingness to work with the Queens community it had wanted to join.

“Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves,” said Mr. Gianaris, a Democrat, whose neighborhood includes Long Island City. “The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions.’’

But in the same article Kathryn S. Wylde, the chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, said, “How can anyone be surprised? We competed successfully, made a deal and spent the last three months trashing our new partner.”

Ms. Wylde said the reception Amazon had received sent a “pretty bad message to the job creators of the city and the world.”

This afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at former partner Amazon:

“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. We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will.”

 

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