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Amazon abandons plans for New York headquarters

Emily McCormick
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Amazon (AMZN) said in a statement Thursday that it is abandoning plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents,” the company said in a statement. “There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.”

Amazon shares were trading lower most of the day, but recovered some of those losses after the news came out.

The e-commerce giant’s decision comes amid a flood of criticism from some state constituents and officials since the company announced it planned to come to New York last fall. Many critics decried the $3 billion in subsidies the city and state had intended to provide one of the richest companies in the world. The company has endured more than a month of city council grillings over the deal to come to Long Island City, and had embarked on a charm offensive with fliers and an open letter to Queens residents touting potential benefits of the company’s new location.

“While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” Amazon said in Thursday’s statement.

Amazon announced in November that it intended to open two locations for new headquarters in Long Island City, New York and Crystal City in Virginia. The Seattle, Washington-based company originally opened a search for a so-called HQ2 in September 2017, setting off a more than year-long competition among cities nationwide vying to win over the tech giant.

As part of the announcement that New York and Northern Virginia would be splitting the second headquarters, Amazon also said it planned to develop a new “Operations Center of Excellence” in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

In its statement Thursday, Amazon said it intends to continue as planned in Tennessee and in Northern Virginia.

“We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time,” Amazon said.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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