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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Amazon cancels N.Y. HQ2 project

Amazon’s plans to open half of its second North American headquarters in Queens, New York, have come to a sudden and not to pleasant end.

The company has cancelled the plan to build a headquarters campus for 25,000 employees but the company will continue with the project slated for Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon announced its intent to split its HQ2 between Arlington and Queens, but since then the objections of local politicians and community activists proved to be too much for the company. Amazon was slated to get $3 billion in incentives from the state and the city.

“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term,” the company said in a statement.

Company spokeswoman Jodi Seth told the Washington Post that “we don’t think there’s a path forward in terms of working with them over the long term.”

In announcing the cancellation, Amazon reaffirmed its commitment to the Arlington site and to a 5,000-person operations center slated for Nashville.

“We do not intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time,” the company said.

Amazon is not leaving the New York area where it says it has 5,000 employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. It plans to continue to grow those teams.

It is too early to say whether the Arlington site will grow beyond the 25,000 employees currently planned. The 25,000 goal will likely be met over several years.

The government contracting industry has been mostly supportive of the HQ2 project in Arlington. Yes, it will mean more traffic and more competition for workers, but Amazon also will be a draw for talent and will foster other business opportunities. All of which should outweigh the negative impacts.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 14, 2019 at 9:23 AM

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