Amazon is pulling out of its plans to build one of its HQ2 headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The retail giant doesn’t plan to reopen its search, but will proceed as planned with its Northern Virginia and Nashville campuses. In a process that took more than a year, the company narrowed 238 interested cities and metropolitan regions down to a list of 20 finalists in January 2018 before selecting the winning bids in November 2018.
“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,” said a company spokesperson in a statement. “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 move doesn’t mean Amazon is leaving New York City: it currently employs 5,000 people at offices in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and the company plans to continue growing these teams alongside its other existing offices.
The news follows a poor quarterly report for the retail giant: while net sales grew 20% during Q4 2018, this was the slowest growth rate since the 15% recorded in Q1 2015. Additionally, Amazon is expected to raise prices on hundreds of items at Whole Foods stores due to increasing packaging, ingredient and transportation costs, according to The Wall Street Journal.