Brewer weighs in on scuttled Amazon deal
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer always had strong opinions on the city’s ill-fated plan to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to New York City.
When the deal was first announced last November, Brewer criticized the city for skirting the Universal Land Use Review Process (ULURP) and including billions in tax breaks for the company, which is valued at around a trillion dollars.
However, she agreed to join an advisory committee convened by the city and state to examine community concerns around the Amazon deal and oversee discussion on workforce development.
Brewer said she was “totally shocked” when Amazon revealed last Thursday it decided to back out of the deal, especially since staffers from her office had met that same morning with Amazon executives and advisors to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We had no idea,” she said. “Mr. Cox, who is the head of Amazon here in New York, he didn’t know. I talked to him later on in the day, and he didn’t know they were pulling the plug until after the meeting. Nor did my staff, nor did the mayor’s staff. So, that’s how it was done in Seattle.” After Amazon scrapped the plan, de Blasio chastised the tech giant for backing away while Cuomo reserved his ire for Democratic elected officials such as State Senator Michael Giannaris, who sought to kill the project.
Brewer said there wasn’t one party to blame, but pointed out that Amazon needed to do more than court acceptance from elected officials.
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