Amazon cancels plans for $2.5bn New York headquarters

Amazon says that it does not intend to reopen its search for a second headquarters at this time. It does, however, plan to continue with its plans to open other new campuses in Arlington, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee.

The company received proposals from over 230 North American cities during its search for the second headquarters, many of which are believed to have offered the company with tax breaks to open sites on their turf. It named 20 finalists on its shortlist, including Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

Originally, Amazon had planned to open a new headquarters on one site with 50,000 employees. But it later decided to split its the jobs between Long Island City and Virginia, in order to prevent a talent squeeze.

New York State Senator Mike Gianaris, who represents the New York East River waterfront area in which Amazon planned to build a new campus, mounted a campaign against the plans, arguing that incentives should instead be spent on the community’s infrastructure and transport deficit.  

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the Bronx and Queens, also opposed the plans.

Union leaders said they would have been open to supporting the plans had the company considered making changes to its plans based off feedback from the community.