As Amazon backs out of NYC campus, local leaders call for Rochester area to be considered

    (Logo: Amazon / MGN Online)

    New York City – ABC News reports Amazon has officially pulled out of its plans to build a second headquarters in the New York City region.

    "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,” a spokesperson from Amazon told ABC News.

    The campus was slated to bring about 25,000 jobs. However, sources reported the company was reconsidering the plan after a wave of opposition from local politicians.

    MORE: Amazon reconsidering NY headquarters site after fierce opposition, according to officials

    The announcement prompted a scathing response from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    "(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 statement read, in part. "The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity. The fundamentals of New York's business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here - our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism - remain and we won't be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State."

    Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy released this statement Thursday:

    Today is a sad day for New York City and all of New York State. I applaud Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for their work in initially bringing Amazon here. To lose the opportunity for 25,000 to 40,000 jobs and billions of dollars of revenue to New York City and to our state is a tragic outcome. I believe the differences that led to Amazon dropping its plans to build HQ2 in Long Island City could have been worked out behind the scenes. In losing Amazon’s commitment to New York City, we sent a message to companies around the world about New York State. Those companies may now be reluctant to come here. While some in New York City can say no to tens of thousands of jobs, I would question the sanity of anyone in Rochester or upstate who would do the same. Just one-fifth of those jobs would be transformational for Rochester and the future of its families.

    Amazon says it will not be searching for another site. However, Rochester's mayor is asking the company to reconsider the Rochester Metro Corridor.

    A statement released Thursday read, in part:

    The fact that Amazon has already opted to open a new distribution center in our community as the result of information garnered from the initial submission provides further evidence that our region is an ideal location for HQ2. I have no doubt the city of Rochester would be an excellent home for Amazon and its employees. Our city has been home to some of the most innovative companies in the world and I believe Amazon should look again at all we have to offer...Rochester has an incredible history of tenacity, resilience and innovation – characteristics we share with Amazon. For these reasons and more, I hope Amazon will take another close look at our region.

    Warren isn't the only local leader who called for Amazon to think about the upstate region. Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

    Talk about making ‘Open for Business’ a punchline – the governor and New York City politicians have failed to close the deal with Amazon but there is hope for Mr. Bezos, Western New York is truly open for business and we would gladly accept Amazon’s Headquarters to be located at our STAMP site. I have already been in contact with the Orleans County IDA and Economic Development Center in Genesee County to make this a reality and I’m confident our 57 local colleges and universities educating more than 300,000 students could easily accommodate their labor needs.

    This is a developing story. 13WHAM will provide updates as they become available.

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