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NYC governor Cuomo asks Amazon to reconsider decision to ditch HQ2

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Andrew Cuomo is determined to win Jeff Bezos back.

According to a report from The New York Times published Thursday, the New York governor has been quietly pleading with Amazon and its founder to take back its abrupt decision to abandon its plans for an HQ2 headquarters in New York City.

Amazon had announced the city as a location for part of its expansion, but backed out following fierce opposition from activists concerned about gentrification and the tax incentives it was offered as part of the deal.

The Times is reporting that Cuomo has spoken to Amazon executives — including CEO Jeff Bezos — “multiple” times since the decision, and further reports that Cuomo “said he would navigate the company through the byzantine governmental process.”

A consortium of businesspeople are also publishing an open letter to Amazon in the paper on Friday asking it to reconsider.

“We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming. Opinions are strong in New York—sometimes strident,” the letter reads. “We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.”

Signatories to the letter include Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, General Atlantic CEO William Ford, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

“Governor Cuomo will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval and Mayor de Blasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process,” the letter adds.

Starting in September 2017, Amazon ran a highly publicized search for a suitable location to build a major new office that it called a second headquarters, joining its base in Seattle, Washington, for up to 50,000 workers. It ultimately decided on not one but two locations: New York City, and Virginia, effectively splitting the HQ2 plan into two significant regional offices.

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