Newark Tells Amazon the Web Retailing Giant Still Has a Local HQ2 Option if NYC Backs Out

February 12, 2019, 1:02 AM UTC

Message to from Newark, N.J.: If you get dumped, we’re here for you.

As New York City council members and other critics seek to derail the $3 billion of government incentives extended to one of the world’s most valuable companies to build a Queens headquarters, New Jersey’s largest city says it remains an alternative. The renewed—albeit one-sided—courtship began about six weeks ago, according to Aisha Glover, chief executive officer of the Newark Alliance, which spearheaded a failed drive to draw Amazon and its expected 50,000 jobs.

“Our goal is to make sure we keep it in the region” should the Long Island City location fall through, Glover said by telephone. “We have reached out to express that our incentives on the state and city side have been passed, so there’s more opportunity for them to be welcomed with ease.”

Amazon, whose plan to build a second headquarters outside Seattle led hundreds of U.S. municipalities to dangle offers, ultimately chose Queens and another site, in Arlington, Va. Newark had been among the finalists, with an incentives package of more than $7 billion from the state and city.

If Amazon has interest in Newark, a city finally on the upswing 50 years after race riots decimated the downtown, it may be playing hard to get.

“They haven’t been specific in their response,” Glover said.