February 8, 2019

Lamont: CT contacted Amazon about possible HQ2 relocation

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Amazon's distribution center in Windsor.
HBJ Photo | Sean Teehan
David Lehman (right) was introduced on Feb. 1 by Gov. Ned Lamont (left) as commissioner of the reshaped state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Connecticut's newly reshaped economic-development team has rebooted efforts to lure Amazon's second headquarters away from New York after the e-commerce giant reportedly is reconsidering plans to establish a major presence in the Empire State.

Amazon is reconsidering its plans to open up a new campus in New York City's Long Island City neighborhood after facing backlash from local residents, according to a Washington Post report on Friday.

Hours after the report came out, Gov. Ned Lamont in a Twitter post said the state heard Amazon was re-evaluating its expansion plans days ago, and "mobilized" its new public-private partner, the Partnership to Advance the Connecticut of Tomorrow (PACT), to help Amazon HQ2 find a path to Connecticut. PACT is led by former PepsiCo Chairwoman and CEO Indra Nooyi of Greenwich and former Webster Bank Chairman and CEO Jim Smith.

"The state has already made an outreach to Amazon through its in-state representation, and we are looking forward to expanding the dialogue," the governor said in a succeeding Twitter post.

In November, when Amazon announced it would split its second headquarters between Queens, N.Y., and Arlington, Va., Connecticut officials said the New York location would create a larger, higher-skilled tech workforce to recruit from in the state.

Queens is less than 30 miles from Greenwich and Stamford, and 100-plus miles from Greater Hartford.

Amazon executives, according to unnamed sources, have had discussions recently to rethink the company's plans for New York and consider alternatives, the Washington Post reported.

The company's original plans were for each city to have more than 25,000 workers over time.

A CNN Business report contributed to this story

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