When Amazon chose the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens to build a $2.5 billion campus that could house 25,000 workers, New York’s top brass saw it as a major coup.
But what they didn’t expect was the protests, the hostile public hearings and the disparaging tweets that would come in the next three months, eventually leading to Amazon’s dramatic Valentine’s Day breakup with the city.
The list of grievances was long: the deal was done secretively; Amazon didn’t need nearly $3 billion in tax incentives; and rising rents could push people out of the neighborhood.
City officials and union leaders were talking to Amazon until the last minute. Then the company surprised even the city’s mayor by announcing they were ditching New York in a blog post.