- Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York is trying to get Amazon to reverse its decision to ditch its plans for a dramatic expansion in New York City.
- According to The New York Times, Cuomo has been speaking with Amazon executives, including CEO Jeff Bezos, to try to get the company to change course.
- Business leaders in New York City are also calling on Amazon to reconsider.
Andrew Cuomo is determined to win Jeff Bezos back.
According to a report from The New York Times published Thursday, the New York governor has been quietly pleading with Amazon and its founder to take back its abrupt decision to abandon its plans to place half of a planned second headquarters, known as HQ2, in New York City.
After announcing that HQ2 would be split between locations in Northern Virginia and Queens, New York, Amazon backed out of the New York part following fierce opposition from activists concerned about gentrification and the tax incentives Amazon was offered as part of the deal.
The Times is reporting that Cuomo has spoken with Amazon executives – including Bezos – “multiple” times since the decision and that Cuomo “said he would navigate the company through the byzantine governmental process.”
A consortium of business representatives also published an open letter to Amazon in The Times on Friday asking it to reconsider.
“We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming,” the letter said. “Opinions are strong in New York – sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.”
Signatories to the letter include Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, General Atlantic CEO William Ford, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.
“Governor Cuomo will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval and Mayor de Blasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process,” the letter added.
Starting in September 2017, Amazon ran a highly publicized search for a suitable location to build a major new office, which became known as HQ2, that would join its base in Seattle and support up to 50,000 workers. Before pulling out of New York, the company had announced it had chosen the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens and parts of Northern Virginia near Washington, DC.
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