Like the initial HQ2 plan, today’s news that Amazon will no longer be setting up shop in Queens has been met with a flood of mixed reactions. Business advocacy and real estate are decrying the retail giant’s decision to pack up and leave. I know I’ve been flooded with responses from various corners all afternoon.
Local politicians, on the other hand, appear to be placing the news squarely at the feet of Amazon.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Mayor Bill de Blasio took Amazon to task for the move in a customary bit of New York saltiness.
“You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world,” the Mayor stated. “Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity. We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will.”
Of course, de Blasio was key in Amazon’s initial decision. The mayor was condemned by many quarters for what was regarded by many as closed-door dealings involving, among other things, massive tax breaks for the company. A mere three days ago, he called the plan “mission critical.”
The Mayor’s current take appears to be something more along the lines of, yeah, well, we didn’t really want you here anyway.
Speaker Corey Johnson, on the other hand, was one of the deal’s most vocal opponents from the outset, happily grilling Amazon reps at City Council meetings overs concerns around tax breaks, infrastructure and the company’s longstanding opposition to employee unions.
“I look forward to working with companies that understand that if you’re willing to engage with New Yorkers and work through challenging issues New York City is the world’s best place to do business,” he said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “I hope this is the start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent. I know I’d choose mass transit over helipads any day.”
Predictably, the city’s wing of the DSA was similarly in a celebratory mood. “The impending Amazon deal was far from the only way capitalism is oppressing working class Queens residents and New Yorkers,” it said in a statement. “Millions of New Yorkers still lack any basic tenants’ rights and live with the threat of rent hikes, displacement, and evictions every day.”