Amazon pulls out of plan to build New York City headquarters after backlash

Amazon announced Thursday it was turning back on its plans to build its second headquarters in New York City, the company said in a statement. The move comes after backlash from lawmakers, notably Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who bemoaned the project.

"After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens," the Seattle-based Amazon said in the release.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally organized by Women's March NYC at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in New York. Ocasio-Cortez had been extremely critical of Amazon's planned New York headquarters. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally organized by Women's March NYC at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in New York. Ocasio-Cortez had been extremely critical of Amazon's planned New York headquarters. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

"For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City," the statement reads.

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The company added that it is "disappointed to have reached this conclusion."

FILE- In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo graffiti has been painted on a sidewalk by someone opposed to the location of an Amazon headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York.

FILE- In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo graffiti has been painted on a sidewalk by someone opposed to the location of an Amazon headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York.

"We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process," the company continued in the statement.

In a statement provided to Fox News, de Blasio said that New York City gave Amazon an opportunity and it "threw away that opportunity."

"You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world," de Blasio said in the statement. "Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity. We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will.”

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that "anything is possible," taking a victory lap upon hearing the news.

Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick called it a "stunning development," adding: "For those who didn’t want Amazon to bring the promised 25,000 new jobs and added economic vitality to the area: Be careful what you wish for."

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The opposition against HQ2 has been mounting in recent months. In December, for example, Amazon execs were grilled and jeered at a New York City Council meeting over the deal.

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2018, file photo, a bird flies off holding fish scraps near a former dock facility, with "Long Island" painted on old transfer bridges at Gantry State Park in the Long Island City section of the Queens Borough in New York. Amazon said Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, that it will not be building a new headquarters in New York, a stunning reversal after a yearlong search.

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2018, file photo, a bird flies off holding fish scraps near a former dock facility, with "Long Island" painted on old transfer bridges at Gantry State Park in the Long Island City section of the Queens Borough in New York. Amazon said Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, that it will not be building a new headquarters in New York, a stunning reversal after a yearlong search. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Amazon was reconsidering its plans for its New York office, which led to cheers from Ocasio-Cortez. "Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations? Yes, they can," the freshman lawmaker tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez has also slammed the company for having bias in its facial recognition technology.

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In a statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his frustration over Amazon's nixed New York City headquarters. "Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany's nanotech center," he said. "However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community -- which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City -- the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity."

FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, a rusting ferryboat is docked next to an aging industrial warehouse on Long Island City's Anable Basin in the Queens borough of New York. Amazon's decision to pull out of building a headquarters in the city follows a backlash against the tech giant's plan.

FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, a rusting ferryboat is docked next to an aging industrial warehouse on Long Island City's Anable Basin in the Queens borough of New York. Amazon's decision to pull out of building a headquarters in the city follows a backlash against the tech giant's plan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Amazon said it would proceed as planned with the second part of its HQ2, which will be built in Northern Virginia, as well as its distribution center that it said it would open in Nashville. It will also continue to "hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada."

The deal was greeted with much fanfare when it was announced last year and was lauded as a major economic boost.

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Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had touted the benefits of Amazon's HQ2, which included a pledge from the tech giant to create 25,000 jobs, paying an average of $150,000 per year in exchange for a slew of city and state tax breaks and subsidies worth up to $3 billion.

In addition to the 25,000 jobs, Amazon would've brought $2.5 billion in Amazon investment and eventually 8 million square feet of office space to Long Island City as part of its investment announced last November. The Seattle-based company said it would have generated "incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation."

According to a December Quinnipiac University poll, 57 percent of New York City residents support Amazon’s arrival in the region, compared to just 26 percent who oppose the deal, Fox Business previously reported.

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Amazon faced fierce opposition over the tax breaks it was offered in New York, with critics complaining that the project was an extravagant giveaway to one of the world's biggest companies and that it wouldn't provide much direct benefit to most New Yorkers.

"This announcement marks a landmark victory for our communities and shows the power of the people, even when taking on the world's richest man," said Deborah Axt, co-executive director of the anti-poverty group Make the Road New York.

She said the Amazon was getting "taxpayer giveaways" so that it could "force its empire-building on our neighborhoods."

There had also been concerns about what Amazon's decision could do to already rising real estate prices in the area, but Hamrick said Thursday's announcement won't solve those problems.

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"From a broader view, this decision will do nothing to resolve the challenges associated with housing affordability voiced by critics of the Amazon decision and the generous tax incentives offered by government," Hamrick said in comments obtained by Fox News. "That requires a bigger conversation which could very well unfold along with the 2020 election cycle."

Fox News' James Rogers, Christopher Carbone and the Associated Press contributed to this report. This story has been updated with comment from Mayor de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez.