Rockland/Westchester Journal News
Published 5:09 PM EST Feb 15, 2019
Rockland officials have a message for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Don’t tune us out just because you got a bad reception in New York City.
A day after the world’s largest retailer dropped its plans to bring a second headquarters to Long Island City, a handful of Rockland officials beseeched the world’s richest man to reconsider their pitch to send his 25,000 jobs their way.
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“Please do not let the unwelcoming and shortsighted actions of a few in Long Island City tarnish the possibilities that exist elsewhere,” reads the letter signed by County Executive Ed Day, Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips, Orangetown Supervisor Chris Day, Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht and Suffern Mayor Ed Markunas.
Those officials represented sites that had been part of an application submitted to Amazon during its original when it was searching for another headquarters in 2017: Letchworth Village in the town of Haverstraw, the IRG campus in Orangetown, and the former Novartis site in Ramapo and Suffern.
“We previously applied as part of your HQ2 selection process and feel we offer a ‘Prime’ location near New York City but with room for development,” reads the letter.
The missive seemingly ignored Amazon’s announcement that it had no plans to reopen the competition for another base of operations.
READ THE LETTER TO JEFF BEZOS
“We have seen Amazon’s statement but we have also seen just how quickly plans can change,” said John Lyon, Day’s spokesman, in a followup email.
Phillips was holding out hope that Amazon could finally take the Letchworth Village property off his hands. A previous proposal to put a Legoland amusement park there was withdrawn amid intense neighborhood opposition.
“I think the opportunity for Amazon coming to New York can still happen,” he said. “Our community would embrace having the investment and 25,000 new jobs.
He continued: “Queens’ loss could be our gain. … If they realized they had a community that is willing to embrace their application and proposal they would reconsider.”
Rockland wasn’t the region’s only locale hoping to woo the retail giant to reconsider: Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas also resubmitted his city’s proposal, touting its access to mass transit, proximity to Manhattan, downtown retail and diverse population.