Less than one week after Amazon pulled out of its planned expansion in New York City, some New Jersey politicians are making it clear to the e-commerce giant that a second headquarters would be welcome in the Garden State.
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“We want HQ2,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said on Monday during an interview with Cheddar. “We’ve sent that message out already. And everybody from the governor to the mayor to local leaders have been reaching out to Amazon.”
Booker is also a 2020 presidential hopeful.
Newark was one of the 20 finalists in the year-long contest to host Amazon’s second headquarters -- known as HQ2 -- but ultimately lost the bid to Long Island City, a Queens neighborhood, and Arlington, Virginia. At the time, Newark, along with the state of New Jersey, had tried to lure Amazon with a $7 billion incentive package, dwarfing most other cities’ deals.
However, following a flood of criticism from some city and state officials about the $3 billion deal, the e-commerce giant reneged on its plan to build a second headquarters in New York City (which it said would create 25,000 high-paying jobs and invest tens of millions of dollars into the local community.)
The Seattle-based company said it chose not to move forward with its plans because it requires “positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.” Amazon said it does not plan to move ahead with the HQ2 search effort, and will instead continue to “hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.”
That didn’t stop New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy from, almost immediately, pitching Newark to the world’s largest online retailer once again. In a statement, Murphy, a Democrat, said he contacted Amazon “continuing a constant dialogue.”
“New Jersey is open for business, and now more than ever, Newark is the clear choice as the next presence for Amazon corporate offices,” he said. “Amazon now has the opportunity to join in Newark’s story of a city on the rise.”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka also urged Amazon to consider the city, population 285,000, for its HQ2, whether in whole or just part.
“Given the city and state’s assets—a strong talent pipeline, a diverse tech base, unmatched infrastructure and a highly accessible location—we are well poised to accommodate Amazon should they want to relocate New York City’s portion of HQ2, in whole or part,” Baraka said, according to Barron’s.