A prominent business leader reiterated Sunday that New York executives are ready to roll out the welcome mat, should Amazon revive its plans for a campus in Queens.
Kathryn Wylde, president of a consortium of business leaders called the Partnership for New York City, spoke on the Cats Roundtable radio show about a letter she and the heads of several local organizations sent last week to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to reconsider the Long Island City hub. Amazon announced on Feb. 14 that it would not spend $2.5 billion on a headquarters for 25,000 full-time workers in that neighborhood, following opposition among local elected officials.
Wylde said on the John Catsimatidis radio show Sunday that a majority of New Yorkers would welcome Amazon.
"We wanted to express to Amazon and Jeff Bezos that it is not all New Yorkers who are giving them a hard time and questioning their morals and responsibilities," Wylde said.
The tech company’s announcement in November that it would be expanding in Long Island City was not greeted warmly by some in western Queens, who worried the project would drive up the cost of living and price out locals, and who took issue with the government authorizing about $2.8 billion in incentives for the move.
Wylde said the state and the city’s economic development programs are complicated, but that their approach to Amazon made sense, given that its hub was expected to generate billions in tax revenue.
"If we’re going to attract big investments, big commitments of jobs from firms that are used to operating in an environment that is not as highly taxed, we’re going to have to give them some incentives," Wylde said.