De Blasio slams decision to cancel NYC HQ2: 'Amazon threw away the opportunity'

February 14, 2019 - 11:49 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Amazon has canceled its plans to open a second headquarters in Long Island City.

LISTEN LIVE: Amazon pulls out of plans to come to New York

"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," Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth said.

RELATED: Poll: New Yorkers support Amazon bringing headquarters to Queens | De Blasio defends Amazon deal at state budget hearing | NY gov raps Amazon critics amid report company's rethinking

There were reports earlier this month that Amazon was reconsidering the move to New York due to local opposition.

Amazon statement pulling out of New York deal

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, "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 the 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."

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also reacted to the move by Amazon, telling Fox News Radio, "Well, it's too bad, I mean speaking as a New Yorker or former New Yorker whatever I am, I think it would have been a very good think for New York City and New York State. I know there was some controversy, you know we just President and I just met with Governor Cuomo and that topic did come up, it's - it would have really helped New York, that's all I can say. So, I - it's too bad, it's too bad it didn't work out."

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Sen. Mike Gianaris were among those going door to door in the Queensbridge public housing complex to collect signatures in the hope of keeping the retail giant out of the neighborhood.

“They thought they were going to be heralded like at ticker tape parade down Broadway for bringing Amazon to New York,” Van Bramer said. "I think they have been stunned at the opposition. It's like a 2x4 hit them."

Opponents said the 25,000 jobs promised by Amazon would mostly go to outsiders.

“They’re not going to be for people who live in Queensbridge,” she said. “It’s not going to be the folks who are currently here in the community.”

Queens leaders said Amazon would have brought tremendous benefits to local residents, increased social mobility, and revitalized neighborhood economies.

During a state budget hearing on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Amazon's arrival in New York 'mission critical.' Critics say the deal offered too much -- $2.8 billion in tax incentives and subsidies -- to an already rich company.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also released the following lengthy statement:

"Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements. Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany's nanotech center.

"However, 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. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.

"The fundamentals of New York's business climate and community that attracted amazon to be here - our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism - remain and we won't be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State."