In a statement released today, Amazon has confirmed that they have cancelled their plans to open up their second headquarters in Queens, New York City.
The statement read that “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.”
Prior to the cancellation, Amazon said that they would have invested approximately 5 Billion USD into the operation, translating into around 50,000 jobs. According to Amazon officials, the positions would have had average salaries of around $150,000.
On Thursday, the company said that “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us.” During deliberations, Amazon faced immense public backlash from local residents who weren’t comfortable with the corporate giant sitting at their doorsteps. Activists believed that Amazon’s new HQ would create an influx of working-class residents and fast-acting gentrification. Both local residents and political officials were worried about Amazon’s previously well documented poor working conditions and unwillingness to allow workers unions.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Tuesday that he had “communicated with the people of Amazon,” adding that Toronto would be “delighted to have any aspect of Amazon’s operations here including part of their head office.”
Back in November, Toronto lost its bid for a new Amazon HQ, but still ended up on a list of 20 finalist cities: “This was a list of places Amazon really thinks they’re going to put something. We should compete to get whatever that is but, in reality, the key to our long-term success is to create the next Amazons in Toronto, not lure the current Amazon,” Said Richard Florida, an urban studies theorist at the University of Toronto. Florida was one of the experts who helped propose Toronto’s initial bid.
“We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada,” read Amazon’s Thursday press release.