Locals have mixed feelings on Amazon’s retreat

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NEW YORK (AP) – On the streets of Queens, reaction to Amazon’s decision to cancel its headquarters differed among the residents and local businesses.

Andrew Ousley, a resident of one of the new rental high-rises near the site Amazon had considered, applauded Thursday’s news.

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“I was afraid that having Amazon in our backyard was going to lead to rent hikes and increased prices in stores and restaurants,” he said. “Given I both live and operate my business out of LIC, my plan was to move out before they arrived. But now that they’re not coming, I’m more likely to stay and see how the neighborhood continues to grow and evolve in a more organic fashion.”

But Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, struggled to express his “sadness and dismay.”

“An entire generation will look back at these last few months and ask us why,” he said in a statement. “I hope those that opposed this Amazon deal have the answers to what we lost today. Queens is one of the best places for a tech firm – for any forward-looking business – to expand into, with our diverse talent pool, entrepreneurial spirit, thriving arts scene and boundless energy. It is a shame to lose the opportunity, investment and jobs that Amazon offered, but there are many more ways for businesses in Queens to thrive, and we will be welcoming them with open arms.”

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