Protestors unfurl anti-Amazon banners during a New York City Council Finance Committee hearing on January 30.
The announcement, however, was immediately by local NY politicians.
"New Yorkers will get tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and Amazon will get the best talent in the world", de Blasio said.
"No one knows for sure if (the article) is true, and Amazon has been pretty tight-lipped on if they have wandering eyes", the source said. The county board of supervisors has expressed strong support for the Amazon headquarters and is planning to pass a local incentive package in March.
Several other issues have inspired outrage over what critics call the #HQ2scam.
"We talk with the folks from Amazon all the time", says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, the local economic development organization. Last month, it ran a print advertisement in some of New York's biggest daily newspapers, wishing residents a happy New Year and pledging to work with and listen to the community.
But Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said Amazon had failed to address concerns voiced about the plan. But the only South Side site to which the Amazon team returned for multiple site visits was the South Loop mega-site known as "the 78".
Such is not the case with the state Senate, however. About $1.5 billion of the grants for HQ2 come from the state and could go before this board, and the way the board is structured, Gianaris would have an effective veto over those funds.
Supported by the NY governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the plan has faced a torrent of opposition from elected officials, activists and unions, angry that the company is set to get up to $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies.
Unions, which have organized most of the deal opposition on the grounds that e-commerce destroys traditional retail jobs, said the Washington Post report suggests Amazon is threatening to pull the plug on the efforts to pressure ny politicians and galvanize support. In November, the company announced the other half of the HQ2 project would be located in Northern Virginia. Nashville is getting a 5,000-person operations center, and though the city budget is so strapped public workers were denied a promised raise, this week officials passed a $15 million infrastructure grant for the area Amazon will occupy, the first of $117 million in subsidies for the project.
A spokesperson for Miami WorldCenter, which had been considered as a potential landing spot for a hypothetical Miami HQ2, said Amazon has not gotten back in touch about any new projects.
Basically, the whole thing could be summed up as "nice Amazon deal, New York".
News that Amazon is considering backing out of its plan to build a new headquarters site in Queens comes just days after Democratic state Sen.
AOC objects to the city and the state giving so much money to "the most valuable public company on the planet owned by the richest man in the world".
What appears to have happened here is that Amazon paid more attention to the incentives offered by NY than in making sure that the neighborhood they planned to occupy was a proper fit.