NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka said on Monday Newark has benefited from being in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters -- even if the corporate giant picks a different location.
“It's not over 'til the fat lady sings,” Baraka said today at an unrelated press conference for the opening of a new police precinct. “That's what they say, right?”
The Washington Post, using unnamed sources, reported this weekend that Amazon was in “advanced discussions” about possibly opening its second headquarters in Crystal City, Va.
The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that Amazon is now in late-stage talks with three locations, Crystal City, Dallas and New York City.
Newark was named as one of 20 finalists for the second headquarters, colloquially known as HQ2. Each selected location has been vying for the company’s pick by offering tax breaks to seal the deal.
Newark City Council in August approved a $2 billion tax cut to any business that intends to create at least 30,000 new full-time jobs and make a capital investment of at least $3 billion. The state also offered a tax break worth up to $5 billion for Amazon.
Baraka said the city had no expectations of changing its tax deal for Amazon.
Amazon’s HQ2 is estimated to bring in 50,000 new full-time jobs and make a $5 billion investment. The company is expected to create jobs that average in the six-figures.
The city's tax cut did not explicitly name Amazon either. Virtually any company that is committed to investing in Newark as much as Amazon is would be able to get the deal.
“The city's already benefited and we're going to take advantage of that as we go forward," Baraka added. "Mars came to the city - not the planet, but the candy company - came to the city as a result of those things. So we're going to continue to benefit as we go forward.”
Mars plans to bring its corporate headquarters for M&Ms back to Newark, the city has said. The candy was produced in 1941 at a factory in Clinton Hill.
Amazon has remained tight-lipped on its selection process. The apparent leak to national news outlets seemed to upset at least Amazon’s director of economic development, Mike Grella.
“Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection,” said a post on his Twitter account Saturday, one of several recently complaining about articles on the subject. “You’re not doing Crystal City, VA any favors. And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin.”