NYC officials plead with Jeff Bezos to win back HQ2

An an anti Amazon HQ2 rally outside New York City Hall.                  Ben Fox Rubin  CNET

An an anti Amazon HQ2 rally outside New York City Hall. Ben Fox Rubin CNET

The executives also learned of an open letter being arranged for publication in The New York Times on Friday, also urging Bezos, the company's chief executive, to reverse course again and build the campus in Long Island City, Queens.

Amazon pulled out of the deal early last month after facing harsh, vocal opposition from several of the state's lawmakers, most notably from freshman congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. "So, I think the point was more, not that Amazon is going to change its mind, I don't think that they do". CEO Ajay Banga and former Mayor David Dinkins were among those who signed an open letter to Amazon.com Inc.

While Friday's open letter acknowledged the anti-Amazon sentiment in New York City, it argued that HQ2 opponents were actually "part of the New York charm". Signatories include the CEOs from JetBlue, Hearst, MasterCard and Deloitte. Given that the Amazon headquarters was supported by a majority of New Yorkers - both in Queens specifically and in the suburbs - it behooves Cuomo to show that he won't give up fighting for HQ2 even if the end goal is moot.

Among those leading the charge against the mammoth internet giant was freshman Congresswoman (NY-D) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known to the media as AOC. "We are $4 billion less than we usually get and yet we are kicking out a company that was projecting over 10 years roughly $27 billion in taxes", Maloney said.


The New York Times reports Cuomo didn't offer a new location for the headquarters but is telling Amazon officials the project will have "guarantees of support".

Cuomo has also reached out to Bezos directly by phone since the deal fell through, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has said it's not planning to look for a substitute for NY to build its HQ2 any time soon.

"We should not be giving up on 25-40 thousand jobs and this significant new investment", says Partnership President Katheryn Wylde, "I think we need a restart on this project and one that makes people feel comfortable, allows them to get comfortable.what are the possibilities?"

But he added, "We don't want anyone to think that NY doesn't understand that we are the home of entrepreneurial business, and we want young people coming here and new talent".


An Amazon spokeswoman declined a request for comment. "We can put a lot of people to work for that money, if we wanted to".

The letter said that Cuomo "will take personal responsibility for the project's state approval" and that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio "will work together with the governor to manage the community development process". Those concerns didn't stop more than 200 cities across the country from competing to lure the tech giant when it embarked on a yearlong search for a so-called HQ2 that would bring 50,000 or more high-paying jobs.

Cuomo said NY would reap $27 billion in tax revenues and 25,000 jobs from the deal.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris, a vocal opponent of Amazon's NY plans, had been named to an oversight board with the authority to torpedo the deal.


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