The company has not yet acquired land for the project, however, back in November, it had selected the Long Island City neighbourhood of New York City and the National Landing neighbourhood of Arlington, Virginia. The lack of land would make scrapping the plans easier, the source told Reuters.
The source noted that Amazon was still working toward winning approval from New York officials and has not yet given up completely on New York as the location of their HQ, which plans to create 25,000 Amazon jobs.
The Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon executives have had internal discussions to reassess the situation in New York and explore alternatives, citing two people familiar with the matter.
In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it was working to engage with New Yorkers, but did not discuss whether it would change its plans.
“We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbours — small business owners, educators, and community leaders,” it said. “Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbour we will be.”
The world’s largest retailer originally planned to spend $5 billion on the developments in Long Island City, located in New York’s Queens borough, and in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, DC, expecting to get more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives with plans to apply for more. For Queens, the company has already printed out and mailed flyers to residents highlighting the economic benefits of its New York expansion.
One of the most prominent critics, Queens lawmaker Senator Michael Gianaris, was appointed to a state Senate panel that has the power to block Amazon’s campus, local media, including the New York Times, reported earlier. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district spans parts of Queens and the Bronx, has also criticized Amazon.
“Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations? Yes, they can,” she tweeted on Friday.