This piece by Barry Ritholtz is the best I’ve seen, by far, on what happened — and why — with Amazon’s aborted HQ2 project in Queens:
Before we determine who killed Amazon’s HQ2, let’s note who did
not: It was not the progressives or the Anti-ICE lefties. No, the
Socialists have not taken over America. The biggest opponent to
Amazon HQ2 in NYC was not from the new Congressional class, all
they did was make some noise, and little to do with what actually
mattered. It was not, to the chagrin of Fox News, AOC or
Elizabeth Warren, or anyone else in Congress. All of the
incentives for this were State + City, not Federal. Congress
literally had no say on this.
Spoiler alert: It was Jeff Bezos. He belatedly realized the
political landscape had changed, and decided he was unwilling to
engage further. He did not want to deal with it or be embarrassed.
Full stop. […]
Amazon began as a bold idea, deftly executed. It embraced risk,
and that generated a massive return on money. But many are simply
uncomfortable with the one offs for any one company to get. If you
want to encourage businesses to relocate to a specific area, then
come up with a series of incentives that apply to ALL businesses
that will open shop in that location — not just one. Thus, the
entire HQ2 competition was conceptually flawed from the start.
As a fire-breathing Wall Street working capitalist, my instinct is
to say: Build your own fucking HQ on your own goddamned dime.