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Cuomo Isn’t Giving Up On The Amazon Deal Just Yet

The New York City Amazon headquarters announcement last year featured Empire State Development's Howard Zemsky, Amazon Vice President of Global Real Estate and Facilities John Schoettler, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Two weeks after Amazon’s breakup with New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still trying to win the tech giant back.

Cuomo has spoken to Amazon executives over the phone multiple times in the last two weeks, the New York Times reports, including multiple calls to company head Jeff Bezos himself. In those calls he has promised to shepherd the company through the complex government process that Amazon decided it would rather not navigate.

So far, there is no indication it has made any difference.

“I’ve had many conversations with Amazon. I hope that they reconsider,” Cuomo told reporters at an event Thursday, per the Times. “It would be helpful if the State Senate said that they would approve it; that would be helpful. But in the meantime, I haven’t heard any changes.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper today published an open letter imploring Bezos to change his mind. The letter promises that Cuomo "will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval,” and that Mayor Bill de Blasio “will work together with the governor to manage the community development process.”

It is signed by more than 70 people, including unions, politicians like House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Staten Island Democrat Max Rose and executives like Goldman Sachs CEO David Soloman, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Rudin Management CEO Bill Rudin and Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer.

Amazon dropped plans to build its coveted HQ2 in Long Island City after initially committing to a new campus in Anable Basin with 25,000 employees. Despite polling that indicated a majority of New Yorkers were in favor of the deal, Amazon's plans had been met with outrage from some elected officials and community members, many of whom argued the $3B incentive package was unwarranted.

“We think we could have gotten New York done, but you have to say, ‘At what cost?’” Amazon global economic development head Holly Sullivan said at Bisnow’s Amazon HQ2-Apalooza event in Arlington, Virginia, Thursday. “We made a prudent decision that gives us the opportunity to hyperfocus on D.C.”