But local opposition was fierce from the beginning.
Aisha Glover, chief executive of the Newark Alliance, which bid for the project with an incentives package of more than $5 billion from the state and city, had reached out to Amazon to make it clear "our goal is to make sure we keep it (HQ2) in the region", Glover told Barron's. The campus was expected to spur a new era of growth for Queens and the city at large, promising the creation of 25,000 high-paying tech jobs, not to mention the luxury residential developments underway to house those new employees.
In a statement, Mayor de Blasio said Amazon "threw away" its opportunity "to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world".
Local politicians who had opposed the deal were quick to claim victory, while others heaped criticism on the politicians for helping to drive out Amazon.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of the leaders of the fight against the proposed deal, largely over the $3 billion in tax breaks the city and state promised the company.
But Amazon ultimately made a decision to split this "headquarters" up into two pieces, announcing plans to build one campus in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC and the other in Queens. They're already working on plans for Northern Virginia and Nashville, and "will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada".
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time in declaring victory after Amazon backed out of a $3 billion deal that would have seen the Jeff Bezos-led tech conglomerate establish its much-coveted HQ2 in NY. But it wasn't a ploy, according to a person familiar with the matter. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio consistently supported the plan, but other elected officials in New York City, New York state, and New York's congressional delegation criticized Amazon's arrival.
Amazon, which had considered its headquarters a prize for cities to compete for, folded with remarkable speed in face of the opposition, announcing it was pulling out just three months after launching the plan. "You have to be tough to make it in New York City", he tweeted. Few of these cities publicly disclosed the incentives attached to their bids.
Amazon had planned to spend $5bn on the two new developments and expected to get almost $3bn in tax credits and incentives, with plans to apply for more. Most cities and states kept their offers private.
In a statement, Amazon says "We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time".
"Amazon showed its true colors today and every American should be outraged", the union said in the statement.
Amazon "believed that they were doing NY such a big favor by bringing tech jobs and then all the ancillary jobs that they thought that the protests would not be as strong as they were", Gordon said.
Prospective employees, small businesses and state and local governments looking forward to tax revenues, as well as the broader community, will miss out from improved growth prospects, Hamrick said.