Tennessee and Nashville officials say they do not expect Amazon’s brush-off of New York to affect the retail behemoth’s decision to open an operations center in Music City.
Amazon last Thursday said it would not build its second headquarters in New York City, called HQ2, because of pushback there, The Tennessee Star reported last week. The retailer faced a battle from some politicians and others over nearly $3 billion in tax incentives, Breitbart said. Amazon was poised to bring 25,000 jobs to New York with a $2.5 billion investment in offices.
Amazon said last week in a statement it would not reopen the HQ2 search. The company said it does plan to proceed with another headquarters site in Virginia.
The company’s Music City plans have drawn criticism from some, including the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, who said the city’s $15 million in incentives were “corporate welfare.” With the State of Tennessee offerings, the package is up to $102 million for 5,000 jobs for a $230 million operations center.
Jennifer McEachern, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, spoke to The Star via email about Amazon. The Star asked her if the state would re-examine the tax incentive package and make any changes to increase or decrease it, as well as guarantees of 5,000 jobs being created.
“Amazon’s decision not to move forward with HQ2 in New York has no impact on the company’s plans for its Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville,” McEachern said. “Amazon remains firmly committed to moving forward with its Nashville project and its plans to create 5,000 jobs.”
“I would refer to Amazon’s statement regarding HQ2 as company officials stated they will not reopen the HQ2 search at this time, McEachern added.
Nashville Metro government also is not worried about the impact on the Operations Center of Excellence, said Thomas Mulgrew, Mayor David Briley’s spokesman, when asked the same questions by email.
The news “in no way affects Nashville’s partnership with Amazon which will bring its Operations Center of Excellence to our city and create 5,000 jobs,” Mulgrew said. “We are solely focused on the Operations Center of Excellence and delivering on the benefits it will bring to Nashville.”
– – –
Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.