Less than a year after abandoning HQ2 in New York City, Amazon says it’s opening a new 1,500-employee office in NYC

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Reuters
  • Amazon is opening a new office in New York City that employs over 1,500 people, the company said on Friday.
  • The announcement comes less than a year after Amazon abandoned its plan to open its second headquarters in the city.
  • The new office in New York isn’t getting any special tax benefits, the company said.

Amazon announced plans to open a big, new office in New York City on Friday, instantly rekindling the heated arguments that engulfed its failed efforts to build a second headquarters in the city nearly a year ago.

Amazon has signed a lease for a new 335,000-square-foot office in New York City, the company told Business Insider on Friday, confirming an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal. Scheduled to open in 2021, the new office will be located in the Hudson Yards area and will employ over 1,500 people, the company said.

It’s a different plan than HQ2, the name of the NYC headquarters Amazon abruptly cancelled in February amid huge political backlash over the financial incentives it received from the city.

Amazon told the WSJ on Friday that is is not receiving any tax breaks or financial inducements for the new office project.

Shortly after the announcement on Friday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most vocal critics of Amazon’s HQ2 plans in New York, tweeted in support of Amazon’s decision to move to New York for not taking any financial benefits.

“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – without requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, & corporate giveaways,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

But it appears that Amazon had planned to open the Hudson Bay project all along.

Amazon currently has over 3,500 employees in the city, and roughly another 5,000 across its warehouses in the area. The HQ2 plans, by contrast, had called for Amazon to add up to 25.000 new jobs in New York City.

“As we shared earlier this year, we plan to continue to hire and grow organically across our 18 Tech Hubs, including New York City,” Amazon’s spokesperson said in a statement.

Asked whether Amazon was receiving any tax incentives from New York, the spokesperson responded that Amazon was not.

Still, the company may be able to take advantage of existing benefits for moving into the Hudson Yards area. In March,the New York Times reported that future tenants in the Hudson Yards area are eligible for tax breaks that can be “as much as a 40 per cent discount and last about 20 years.”

BlackRock, for example, could get a $US25 million state tax credit if it adds 700 jobs at Hudson Yards, while WarnerMedia could be awarded $US14 million, according to the report.