Amazon Skips NYC and Now Seattle

You reap what you sow.

by Eric Holdeman / February 13, 2019

And, I'm not talking about Amazon doing the sowing. I'm talking about the cities and politicians that eschew what benefits they bring to a community. Besides the announcement today that Amazon is abandoning the idea of having 25,000 staff in New York City, they are also pulling the plug on more future investment in Seattle, all because of local opposition. 

Here is the announcement from Amazon about their future in Seattle, "Amazon will end its growth in Seattle in coming years after its offices under construction open up, and the 25,000 jobs intended for New York will now be spread across its various North American tech hubs outside Seattle, the company said."

Again, why stop growing (there are about 45,000 jobs in Seattle now)? Because of local politics. The Seattle City Council and other groups have seen Amazon as evil in many ways. Their high-paid employees drive up the rents in the region. Thus, generally speaking, they are both bad and a piggy bank for social programs you want to fund! If you could have seen South Lake Union about 10-12 years ago, it was old low-rise commercial structures that were 60 years or more old. I hope the pledge not to grow any further and contribute more in taxes to Seattle now makes them happy.

I do know that the Puget Sound Business Journal has reported that Amazon will double their 2,000 employees in Bellevue by the end of 2019. The city of Bellevue is seen as being business friendly. There will be big welcoming arms, only a floating bridge to the east away from Seattle. And, with light rail being extended to what is called the Eastside in only a couple of more years, it is all "upside" for Amazon and Bellevue. 

Which brings me to the topic of public-private partnerships for emergency management and disaster resilience. Small to medium-sized businesses don't have the ability to participate in our government planning. It the larger business interests that who have the capacity to interact with government. When elected leaders set the tone for how they interact with larger businesses, it can spill over into our work at building public-private partnerships. 

Then too, there is the decrease in revenues that funds emergency management and the rest of government. Lastly, Amazon has thousands of daily visitors to their headquarters. Where will they be staying when they come to visit in the future. Bellevue?

I think it was Amazon's experience in Seattle that led them to pull the plug on NYC. They can go anywhere and why would you go where you are not wanted? Keep your cheap rents and low-paying jobs!

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