Amazon exploring potential alternatives to New York HQ: source
Amazon.com Inc is exploring alternatives to locating part of its new headquarters in New York in case the plan should fail due to local opposition, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday.
The online retailer has not yet acquired any land for the project, which would make it easy to scrap its plans, the source said. The Washington Post reported the story earlier on Friday.
The person briefed on the matter said that Amazon was still working toward winning approval from New York officials and had not given up on the proposal, but was considering potential alternatives to New York.
Earlier, the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon executives had internal discussions to reassess the situation in New York and explore alternatives. It cited two unnamed people familiar with the retailer's thinking.
In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it was working to engage with New Yorkers, but did not discuss whether it would change its plans.
"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors – small business owners, educators, and community leaders," it said. "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."
Several New York local officials and newly elected Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district borders the New York site, opposed the Amazon deal. They voiced concerns that the promised 25,000 jobs could inflate an already overpriced housing market and strain infrastructure.
The plan announced last year was backed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the city's Mayor Bill de Blasio, but has been the object of demonstrations in the following weeks.
Critics claim the deal offers too many subsidies to one of the world's largest companies, led by the world's richest man.