Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day dedicated to expressing our love for one another, or at least that special someone in your life. However, Valentine’s Day 2019 could ultimately be remembered as the day that Amazon ended its relationship with the residents—and local politicians—in New York City.
Ever since the ecommerce giant announced it would split its HQ2 plans between two campuses—one in New York and one just outside of Washington, DC—the proposed New York campus has faced tremendous amounts of criticism from Long Island City residents, where the headquarters was supposed to go, as well as community leaders.
Despite its support from the top New York State and New York City officials, HQ2 faced tremendous amounts of pressure from the rest of the members of those legislative bodies.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Amazon was internally reconsidering its plans to go forward with the HQ2 campus there. Those deliberations have since been confirmed in a company blog post that Amazon posted on February 14th.
In the post, Amazon said “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. 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 also said that despite its own surveys that showed 70 percent of local New Yorkers supported the plans, pressure and opposition from “a number of state and local politicians” made it clear that the relationship just wasn’t going to work out.
Important to note, here, is that Amazon also confirmed that it will not reopen the HQ2 search at this time. The company said it will proceed with their plans in Northern Virginia and Nashville, though it hasn’t been confirmed whether the hiring structure at those locations will change as a result of the kyboshed NYC campus.
So, despite their best efforts to win support amongst locals via grassroots marketing efforts, Amazon caved to public pressure. This feels like a big blow, but it also could be something that ultimately shows the company has at least some heart. For what it’s worth, they weren’t willing to force their way into a community simply because they wanted to or because it would’ve been in their best interest.
And for that, maybe we’ll give them a little bit of a golf clap.