NEWARK, NJ - The retail giant Amazon picked other locations over Newark for its second headquarters, but now the Washington Post is reporting the company may be reconsidering its New York City decision.
Newark and 19 other locations were finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, which prompted officials in each location to offer sweet tax incentive packages to lure the company. Amazon announced in November that it had selected Long Island City, Queens and Arlington, Va. instead, vowing to bring thousands of high-paying jobs to each location.
The Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the company's thinking, reported that Amazon was reconsidering the Queens location after a wave of opposition from lawmakers there. Protests have also erupted there from people who are concerned Amazon’s move would create gentrification.
When asked if Amazon would consider Newark in light of the Washington Post article, a company spokesperson told TAPinto Newark the retail giant is focused on engaging with its new neighbors in New York City.
“We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders. 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 neighbor we will be," a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Some Newark residents raised concerns about gentrification at an August city council meeting, where final approval for a $2 billion tax incentive package for companies was approved. The state also offered a tax break up to $5 billion.
Amazon could get $1.3 billion in subsidies from New York City, and $573 million for coming to Virginia.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has repeatedly said the city will benefit simply for being in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters.
But in December, just a few weeks after Amazon announced it wouldn't be coming to Newark, the mayor protested with labor unions to call for better working conditions at Amazon warehouses. Baraka told reporters at that protest that he never had the chance to talk to Amazon executives about warehouse conditions when the city was competing for the company's second headquarters.
A city spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Amazon reportedly reconsidering its Queens location.