How Amazon blew its chance in New York

Analysis by Lydia DePillis, CNN Business

Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT) February 15, 2019

New York (CNN Business)The deal was supposed to be foolproof.Amazon put two years and untold amounts of staff time and money into negotiating with New York to save about $3 billion on a new campus in one of America’s most dynamic cities. It bypassed legislative bodies to avoid getting bogged down in local politics.And it kept the whole process secret, allowing the company, the mayor, and the governor to present the agreement as a fait accompli.All those carefully laid plans vaporized when Amazon declared the Long Island City project dead Thursday morning.Where did Amazon go wrong? After staging a highly public auction that drew bids from hundreds of cities, the company attempted to craft uncrackable deals with its chosen cities that would avoid community input until most of the details were worked out. In New York, that may have ultimately led to the agreement’s demise.”There should’ve been an opportunity to sit down with them. Instead there was a rush to judgment on this,” said Sid Davidoff, an attorney who has represented developers before New York regulators. “Maybe they should’ve said, ‘We have a lot of things to work out, but we want our home to be New York and we want to work with you.'”


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