When Amazon scuttled its plans to build an HQ2 campus in Long Island City last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo laid blame on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who “put their own narrow political interests above their communities” — and apparently many New Yorkers agreed.
A Siena College poll released on March 18 showed that New Yorkers see the progressive lightning rod as the biggest “villain” in the post-Amazon blame game.
“Who do New Yorkers blame? Well there’s certainly blame enough to go around,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “More people think Amazon, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the state Senate, and local Queens activists were villains in this sage than they were heroes. However, voters say the biggest villain was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 12 percent call her hero, while 38 percent label her a villain.”
The poll was conducted with 700 New York state registered voters, and 67 percent said Amazon’s withdrawal was “bad” for the state while only 21 percent said in was “good.”
Amazon pulled the plug on the deal in which they promised to create 25,000 jobs in return for nearly $3 billion in tax incentives.
Voters support the deal 2 to 1 if Amazon reconsiders.
“By a wide margin, New Yorkers would support the deal coming back together if Cuomo can convince Amazon to reconsider,” Greenberg said. “The Amazon deal was seen as very contentious, however, there was strong support for it last month, before it got canceled. There is an overwhelming feeling that its cancellation was bad for the state. And there is strong support, among all demographic groups, for Amazon to reconsider and move forward. Clearly, jobs outweigh the cost of government incentives in the minds of most voters.”
The Siena Poll also showed 67 percent of voters believe state government is moving too far to the left making it harder for businesses to succeed in New York.
Savanna managing partner and founder Chris Schlank might agree. His real estate company was set to sign Amazon to lease for 1.5 million square feet in One Court Square, the iconic tower once known as the Citicorp Building before the e-commerce giant announced it was walking away. Savanna will have less than a year to fill the tower which is being vacated by Citigroup.
“It was incredibly, incredibly, incredibly poorly handled by Cuomo and de Blasio,” Schlank said, according to The Real Deal. “It’s going to take a very long time to repair the damage.”
Schlank was speaking at the City of Tomorrow summit in Manhattan, which brings together the biggest names in real estate, architecture and design. Amazon had planned on using One Court Square as its temporary headquarters while the HQ2 campus was under construction around Anable Basin.