De Blasio was ‘flabbergasted’ by Amazon’s HQ2 reversal

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was “flabbergasted” when he found out Thursday that Amazon was bailing on its plans to build a new campus on the Queens waterfront.

The company announced it was pulling out of the $3 billion dollar deal because of opposition from “a number of state and local politicians.”

“I was flabbergasted,” the mayor said before speaking at a Harvard University forum.

“I said you know why on earth after all the effort that we all have put in would you simply walk away? It doesn’t make sense given everything that has been done here and that if they had a concern why didn’t we talk about it and try to address it. You know, it’s clear they made up their mind on their own.”

He added: “If that’s the way they thought they could be a part of our community it probably wasn’t going to work out anyway. They thought they could just be an island and not a part of our city.”

At the Harvard forum, he accused the Amazon of throwing in the towel in a fight that it should have won.

“What I don’t get is, we made an agreement with them, they chose New York City, we were keeping the agreement,” de Blasio said. “Guess what, some community activists wanted to see something else. They wanted changes, they had differences, that’s part of life.

“Instead of an actual dialogue to try and resolve those issues, we get a call this morning ‘we’re taking our ball and going home’.”

The incentives package that once promised to land Amazon came under heavy criticism almost immediately after it was announced in November 2018.

In exchange for building a new headquarters in Long Island City and adding 25,000 new jobs, the city and state was to provide $2.5 billion in tax credits against future earnings through existing incentive programs, $500 million in construction subsidies and the ability to circumvent the city’s famously laborious land zoning process.

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