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Amazon Cancels New York Headquarters Plans

Amazon is abandoning plans to build a second headquarters in New York, thanks to continued local opposition from certain state legislators.

The decision, which the retailer announced late Thursday morning, means the 25,000 jobs that would have accompanied the project will go elsewhere.

“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term,” the company said in a blog post. “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned.”

Amazon says it does not plan to reopen the search for what it calls HQ2 at this time. Instead, it will continue working with Tennessee and Virginia, which were part of the initial announcement. Rumors that Amazon might reconsider its New York plans began to circulate six days ago.

“We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada,” the company said.

Amazon had not yet leased or purchased any office space in the area, meaning it shouldn’t suffer any financial repercussions for changing its mind. The plan was initially hailed as an economic triumph, but as politicians, including freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, learned of the subsidies given to the world’s largest retailer, many became less enamored of the proposal.

Amazon’s approach to HQ2 has irked New York lawmakers, particularly those who represent Long Island City.

“Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves,” State Senator Michael Gianaris told The New York Times upon hearing the company’s decision to withdraw. “The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions.’’