Amazon’s New York City pullout is causing ripple effects.
Illinois billionaire Ken Griffin said Thursday he’s having second thoughts about moving his financial firm to the city in light of Amazon’s decision to scrap plans for new headquarters in Queens amid intense political opposition.
“The current climate in New York has dramatically reduced our interest in moving our headquarters here,” the 50-year-old founder of investment behemoth Citadel said during an interview on Bloomberg Television, adding Amazon’s exit was “a loss for everybody.”
Griffin, who’s worth nearly $10 billion, said he started thinking about moving Citadel to New York after recently buying a $238 million penthouse near Central Park — the priciest home sale ever in the U.S.
“I’m actually in New York every single week,” Griffin said. “We pay the New York investment banks roughly $1 billion a year in revenues…The apartment presents the possibility it might be home for me and Citadel could be headquartered in New York one day.”
But, after Amazon abandoned plans to build its second mega campus in Long Island City last month, Griffin wasn’t so sure anymore.
“I’m a bit frustrated by the political winds in the city over the last two months,” he said. “Amazon opting out of New York is heartbreaking.”
Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio championed the Amazon deal and argued it would be an incredible economic boost for the city.
But progressive politicians and activists were outraged that the deal offered $2 billion in tax breaks for Amazon, and the opposition was strong enough for the retail giant’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, to reverse course and cancel the development on Feb. 14.
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