Amazon dumps New York on Valentine’s Day

Amazon dumps New York on Valentine's Day

In 2017, online retail leader Amazon announced that it was searching for a city to host its second corporate headquarters dubbed HQ2. Amazon’s initial headquarters in Seattle would remain while the new headquarters would potentially host up to 40,000 new jobs wherever Amazon ultimately chose to build it. In November of last year, Amazon finally decided on putting HQ2 in New York City, specifically Long Island City in the Borough of Queens. That was until yesterday when Amazon announced it was withdrawing from the deal due to local opposition.

Many local politicians and residents opposed the new Amazon headquarters claiming that not only would the jobs go to those from outside of the area but it would also put a strain on an already crumbling infrastructure. Most importantly opponents to the new headquarters were concerned that the influx of Amazon employees would make the local housing crisis even worse. Those who were in favor of the new headquarters touted the tax revenue that would be brought into the city and the state and that would bring even more companies with more jobs and revenue to New York.

However, the housing crisis question is one that can’t be ignored. In Amazon’s own hometown of Seattle, many local residents blame Amazon not only for rising housing prices but also disrupting old neighborhoods that for generations were well within the financial grasp of the middle class. Silicon Valley is an even more bleak example of how giant tech corporations have affected local housing markets as the San Francisco Bay area has been priced out of reach for almost all except the tech elite and the revenue generated by these companies does not seem to be providing many benefits to locals.

What do you think? Did the residents of Queens make a mistake in driving Amazon away or were they justified in trying to protect their neighborhoods?