Amazon is reportedly having trouble finalizing office space in the Long Island City area and in Arlington, Virginia and at this point could even move to a completely different state.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Amazon incurred opposition from local activist groups and politicians. The Post learned from two anonymous sources that the company is “reexamining” the deal and whether or not to move forward with it.
That location was supposed to have housed 25,000 employees. Approval for a space isn’t expected until 2020.
Amazon selected the two cities in November last year and said it plans to invest $5 billion USD (roughly $6.62 billion CAD) and hopes to create approximately 50,000 jobs divided between the two locations.
Toronto was in the riding to be one of the locations but lost out. It was the only Canadian city that was included in the list, despite bids from major cities across the country, including Vancouver, Edmonton, and Halifax.
Amazon subsequently opened a hub in Toronto in December. The e-commerce giant said at the time it was planning to create 600 new tech jobs in fields including software development, machine learning, cloud computing, digital advertising, and artificial intelligence.
Now though, Amazon faces pushback from several New York politicians including U.S. Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said she was skeptical and outraged at the idea of giving one of the world’s largest and valuable companies tax subsidies in order to move into the boroughs of Queens.
The Post reported that Amazon hired lobby and public affairs firms in New York to manage its relationship with the residents and politicians.
An Amazon spokesperson in the article said the company was engaging with people in the community.
“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 neighbour we will be,” Amazon said.