After months of backlash from locals, lawmakers, and unions, Amazon announced it is canceling plans to build a new headquarters in Queens, New York.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
That means the company’s “HQ2” will be located in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. Amazon had previously planned to split its second headquarters into two corporate campuses — one in Virginia and one in New York — after a year-long decision process.
More than 200 local and state governments submitted proposals for Amazon’s consideration in 2017 after the company announced it was looking for a North American city to house its $5 billion, 50,000-employee second headquarters. The company’s home base is in Seattle.
Amazon framed the hunt for its second headquarters as a national competition, with the winning city benefiting from an influx of tens of thousands of new jobs. But critics raised concerns about gentrification, rising housing costs, and an overall lack of transparency in the application process.