Amazon halts Virginia HQ construction, AOC declares ‘we were right’ to criticize construction in New York
The completion of Amazon’s “second headquarters” in Virginia has been delayed by the company indefinitely.
According to a new report from Bloomberg(Opens in a new tab), the decision from Amazon comes after the company’s biggest ever round of layoffs with more than 18,000 people losing their job. The report also mentions the move to remote work over the past few years has led the company to reassess its office-related needs as well.
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Back in 2018, cities across the United States were champing at the bit to be chosen as the location for Amazon’s “second headquarters.” The company put together what amounted to a year-long competition to decide where to build the facility. Critics described the move as a marketing stunt looking to extract the best financial incentives from possible locations.
Eventually, Amazon chose New York City, but was quickly met with staunch opposition.
Amazon was slated to receive $3 billion in tax incentives in exchange for choosing Queens, New York for its second headquarters. The facility, dubbed HQ2, faced backlash from AOC and local politicians over the deal that was being cut to bring the ecommerce giant to the state.
Before construction would begin, Amazon decided to move to Arlington, Virginia instead. Progressive politicians like AOC were heavily criticized(Opens in a new tab) at the time by proponents of the project like the now-disgraced then-Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, who claimed Amazon would bring jobs to the state.
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AOC and other critics of the deal to bring Amazon to New York have been vindicated before. Shortly after backing out of bringing HQ2 to New York, Amazon leased office space in Manhattan for 1,500 employees. And this was done without the need for any special tax incentives.
As the new Bloomberg report lays out, construction in Virginia will complete on the first portion of the HQ2 facility in time to bring around 8,000 workers into the office by June. However, the suspension of the completion of the facility will create problems for local developers, construction company employees, and service workers.
“When I opposed this Amazon project coming to New York [because] it was a scam of public funds, the whole power establishment came after us,” tweeted(Opens in a new tab) New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday after Amazon announced it was suspending construction of its second headquarters in Virginia. “Billboards went up in Times Sq denouncing me. Powerful pols promised revenge. Op-Eds(Opens in a new tab) & CEOs(Opens in a new tab) insulted my intelligence.”
Her billboard claim(Opens in a new tab) certainly holds up to fact-checking, as do her op-ed(Opens in a new tab) and CEO comments. Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the Job Creators Network bashed(Opens in a new tab) AOC and other socialists at the time for a “lack of education.” It’s not immediately clear who may have “promised revenge” against her.
Nonetheless, according to her tweet, “In the end, we were right.”