Amazon announced in November that its second headquarters would be split between Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, New York. But now Amazon executives are exploring alternatives to the Queens headquarters, though the company has made no formal overt moves to withdraw from New York, according to two anonymous sources who spoke with The Washington Post. The newspaper reports that the headquarters announcement has drawn protest from local New York politicians who say it will negatively impact taxpayers and real estate. Additionally, Amazon says it would oppose any plans to unionize at both planned sites. “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming,” said one anonymous insider at Amazon.
At this time, the company has not leased or purchased any office space in Queens. But with a meeting of the state’s Public Authorities Control Board and a third City Council hearing scheduled for late February, Amazon will soon have to make a decision. “I think now is the time for Amazon to make a decision because it has to start hiring,” a source to Post reporters. “At some point, the project starts to fall behind.” In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth simply said: “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.”