Amazon's QG2 plans in New York do not need to end this way



"It's over," said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday in an interview with WNYC. "And it's amazing, disappointing and disrespectful to the people of New York."

The news surprised many. Amazon clearly did not want officials to know in advance. According to reports, the company was still in talks with officials Wednesday afternoon, leaving little indication that a reversal was about to occur. In conversation with CNNMgr. Mitchell Taylor, co-chair of the HQ2 Community Advisory Committee in New York City, said that nothing seemed unusual at meetings he had had with Amazon Liaison Officers on Thursday morning, just hours before the start. ad.

"It's totally inappropriate to make a phone call saying," Plus, we take our balloon, we go home, "said the mayor of the way he was informed. have never seen anything like it. "

If you consider the company's strained relations with New York's leaders and activists, it's perhaps not surprising that Amazon wants to put an end to all this. Jodi Seth, head of Amazon's political communications, painted a problematic picture in an interview with NBC News. Some local officials refused to meet with the company, while others cited various reasons that prevented the company from gaining broad support, including Amazon's anti-union practices and incentives funded by the companies. taxpayers, worth $ 3 billion. Seth said that Amazon had little interest in working in such a long-term conflict environment and had no intention of reopening these discussions with the city or state from New York. But things did not end so well.

Although it's just at a certain level that Amazon feels upset by this political climate, society still seems skinny at the end of it all. As a technology and retail leader that is almost impossible to avoid on a daily basis, the company now expects a certain level of loyalty from the people and organizations it deals with. He usually gets into a room and gets what he wants. In this case, dealing with activists, vocal critics and pressure from key lawmakers meant that Amazon was not going to have another typically easy time – the line of thought seems to be that, as useful could be another campus, it would not be worth it. Many bright people work at Amazon, though; Is it possible that no one has seen the paperwork happen?

I have a hard time believing that Amazon could not have handled this better. Could he have handled the conversation better? Could he have been more transparent in his transactions? Could he have tried to work more closely, in a more functional way with the legislators involved? Does all this now look like a huge waste of time? Yes, to all the above.

The mayor of Blasio has not hesitated to call Amazon petulant and that sounds honestly true for me too. You see, Amazon has not just canceled plans to open a head office in Queens; she decided not to build a second campus to complete her future Virginia campus. "We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search for the moment," says Amazon's statement. "We will proceed as planned in northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to recruit and expand our 17 offices and technology centers in the United States and Canada."

Clearly, the idea of ​​creating another HQ2 campus outside of Virginia was important to Amazon, but not enough so that we could work on it thoughtfully. The company has been around for more than 20 years, but as dust sets in here, its reckless actions take place at least a little unseemly.

And now that Amazon is abandoning New York, only the inhabitants are left – for the better and for the worse. Despite opposition from some locals and legislators, a survey conducted last year by Quinnipiac University indicated that, overall, New York City voters supported Idea of ​​moving from Amazon to Long Island City. Some are now perfectly aware that without Amazon, Long Island City would not create 25,000 new jobs – not to mention job training programs to help locals find work at Amazon and similar businesses. Some local businesses, which were expecting an influx of new customers, no longer have this opportunity. And more generally, some have expressed concern that, by chasing Amazon, New York has sent a terrible signal to businesses around the world in search of growth opportunities.

Meanwhile, an impromptu celebration erupted in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, after the announcement from Amazon, activists rejoicing in their victory. For these New Yorkers, Amazon's planned move and its secret deals with the New York government were ominous, prompting them to spend weeks in denigrating the company's back-office tactics aimed at to raise public awareness of the gentrification that Amazon would bring.

It is true that New York 's proposal to bring Amazon to Long Island City was produced with little support from the communities that would house the company. It is unlikely that Amazon has found a way to please everyone in this camp, but that indicates that society has barely bothered to try. Instead of making a tangible commitment to those affected by the issues that matter to them, Amazon escaped.

In the end, Amazon has somehow achieved a surprisingly impressive feat. His relationships have provoked the activists' mood and his plan to leave people frustrated in the hope of economic opportunities – now, Amazon has managed to become a bad guy for just about everyone. If nothing else stops you, Amazon's choice to leave the New York table unceremoniously is a warning for cities still clamoring for a share of QG2. Here are you watching, Newark, Miami, Rochester, Warren and Danbury.


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