Amazon pulls out of NYC HQ2 expansion on Valentine's Day

It is Friday, February 15, 2019. In case you forgot.
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Amazon pulls out of NYC HQ2 expansion on Valentine's Day

On Thursday, Amazon announced that it was pulling out of its plan to establish part of a second headquarters (HQ2) in Long Island City, citing political opposition.

Backstory: In 2017, Amazon announced it was planning to develop a second headquarters that would bring $5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs to one lucky city. A bidding frenzy ensued, with many cities offering tax-breaks they probably couldn’t afford. It ended up splitting its HQ2 between two cities: Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, Virginia.

Since Amazon announced the New York office in November, city government officials and activist groups have protested the proposed move -- social media maven US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been an outspoken critic.

Why so critical? Opponents were critical of the $3 billion in tax incentives offered by the city, Amazon’s anti-union track record, and the new office’s potential to exacerbate continuing gentrification.

For now, it looks like Amazon will move forward with plans to set up shop in Crystal City. Amazon has not indicated that it will chose another city in place of New York.

The HQ2 saga now looks like less of a contest and more of a good old fashioned bait-and-switch, where Amazon used the cities it was never actually interested in to drive up more attractive offers from the places it did want to move to. 

The winners of HQ2 were probably chosen for the availability of local talent and the easy commute for the head honcho Jeff Bezos.

Amazon's spurned lovers

If Valentine’s Day wasn’t everything you hoped it would be, you can feel better knowing that you probably weren’t as desperate as some of the cities that tried and failed to seduce Amazon in the HQ2 fiasco.  

Here are some of our favorites:

Want more? We’ll let John Oliver take it from here.
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Zac Cherin
Brendan Uyeshiro
Brendan Uyeshiro