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Amazon could scrap New York City HQ2, report says

NYC activists protest Amazon expansion

Since Amazon announced plans to build a New York City facility in November, the project has been the target of vocal opposition from politicians, community groups and residents. So much so that the internet giant might reconsider the project, according a Washington Post report.

The newspaper reported that Amazon executives have internally discussed reassessing opening the proposed facility in Long Island City, Queens, citing two unnamed officials. One of the people reportedly questioned "whether it's worth it if the politicians in New York don't want the project," according to the Post.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have been cheerleaders for the project, pointing to Amazon's promise to create 25,000 jobs with average annual income of $150,000. But locals have objected to the displacement they say the new center will bring and the added pressure it could put on the city's underfunded infrastructure. Related objections have focused on the company being offered an estimated $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies—on par with the amount it promises to invest in the facility.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic representative who has been outspoken against the Amazon deal, tweeted about the report that it is rethinking the project in New York, writing: "Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world's biggest corporations? Yes, they can."

Amazon did not directly confirm or deny the story, but released the following statement: "We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors -- small business owners, educators and community leaders. Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be."

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Cuomo slammed the possibility that Amazon would pull out, blaming "political opposition." "For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice," he said.

A spokesman for De Blasio said, "The mayor fully expects Amazon to deliver on its promise to New Yorkers." 

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, one of several labor unions that has been critical of Amazon, said it was "outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town."