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The day Amazon announced HQ2, this graffiti appeared in the company’s new neighborhood, Long Island City. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Amazon’s announcement that it was pulling out of a planned 25,000-person “HQ2” in New York City elicited a wave of shock and surprise from coast to coast on Thursday morning.

The decision from the Seattle-based tech giant to not set up a large office in the Long Island City section of Queens, N.Y., drew celebration from activists, frustration from officials who worked on the deal, concern from economic observers and an immediate effort by rival politicians to secure some of those Amazon jobs.

RELATED: In stunning reversal, Amazon drops plans for HQ2 in New York City in the face of growing backlash

“This is a stunning development, with Amazon essentially giving in to vocal critics …,”’s senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said. “Now, all of the prospective employees who would have otherwise been hired, all of the small businesses that would have benefited from Amazon’s Queens presence and indeed state and local governments looking forward to tax revenues, as well as the broader community, will miss out from improved growth prospects.

“This outcome could also prompt other businesses to think twice before setting up shop or expanding in the region,” he added. “The alternative sites which were part of the earlier announcement, Northern Virginia and Nashville, could well benefit with even more jobs than planned.”

New York, as arguably the capital of world commerce, will be fine without Amazon, others said.

“New York’s renaissance over the past 40 years has been due in part to our ability to work through difficult issues that have led to record population and job growth and the emergence of our city as a true global capital,” said John H. Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. “It’s unfortunate that we have lost out on an opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs for city residents and generate billions of dollars in tax revenue to fund vital services including infrastructure improvements for transportation, schools, and open space. Nevertheless, New York City is still open for business and will retain its status as a world class center for tech and innovation.”

Amazon was eligible for up to $3 billion in government incentives in exchange for job creation and community development projects associated with the Queens campus. But the resistance from some elected officials was apparently enough to derail the deal and make Amazon leave those incentives on the table.

A rendering of what would have been Amazon’s future office tower in Long Island City. (Photo via

Jamila Brown, the New York City-based communications director for SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog organization, issued a statement, calling Amazon’s announcement “an incredible victory for communities across the country who have been resisting this corporate behemoth since day one. If elected officials in Nashville and Northern Virginia have learned anything from this fight, we hope it’s that offering corporate welfare to giant companies with highly questionable records of social responsibility is a mistake.

“Jobs are important, but not if they come at the cost of people who are struggling to get by,” Brown added. “New York should take the more than $3 billion in tax incentives it would have given to Amazon and invest that money in our communities. Similarly, we support the resistance against Amazon’s HQ2, because we believe in a safe and sustainable future for U.S. cities that we know Amazon is at odds with.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio questioned Amazon’s toughness in a tweet, saying the city gave the company a chance to be a fixture there, but “Amazon threw away that opportunity.” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson also chimed in, saying that he hopes this situation with Amazon is the “start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent.”

Showing just how important Amazon has become on the political stage, representatives local and national, from all sides of the aisle commented on the decision. Some applauded New York’s resistance and others began trying to recruit the tech giant to their home turf.

And of course, there was some good internet snark.

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