Amazon shocked many people last week when it cancelled plans to set up a big new headquarters in New York City.

Amazon’s decision means the company is suspending plans to develop part of Queens, New York. The project would have created 25,000 jobs.

The decision came after some politicians and social activists angrily protested the nearly $3 billion in assistance promised to the company.

Amazon announced in November that New York was one of two areas chosen for its second headquarters. The other was Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia.

The announcement followed months of secret negotiations between Amazon and government officials in the two states.

In New York, the company planned to spend $2.5 billion to build its new offices.

Because of New York’s economic strength, the city will easily recover from the Amazon decision. But some observers say it could frighten other tech companies that are thinking about moving to New York. The city wants to be seen as the East Coast version of California’s Silicon Valley, the home of many high-tech businesses.

In November, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo were happy to welcome Amazon to New York. They believed it would help the growing tech economy and create billions of dollars in taxes that could be used for schools, housing and other projects.

But opposition quickly grew as people learned of the deals the city promised to the company. Critics pointed to the $3 billion incentives the city promised the company as well as some of Amazon’s demands.

But other tech companies are doing well in New York City.

Google is spending $2.4 billion to build up its Manhattan offices. Cloud-computing company Salesforce has put its name on Verizon’s former headquarters. And music service Spotify just signed a rental agreement for a large space at the new World Trade Center.

New York has higher costs than other cities. But many tech companies want to be there because it is home to many highly skilled people, education and cultural centers, as well as Wall Street, the financial center of the United States.

Even after cancelling the project, Amazon still has 5,000 employees in New York City, without including those who work at Whole Foods Market stores.


Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

suspend (v.) /səˈspɛnd/ - Temporarily prevent from continuing or being in force or effect.

  • Work on the dam was suspended.

assistance (n.) /əˈsɪst(ə)ns/ - The provision of money, resources, or information to help someone.

  • She will be glad to give advice and assistance.

negotiation (n.) /nɪɡəʊʃɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/ - Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.

  • A worldwide ban is currently under negotiation.

housing (n.) - Houses and flats considered collectively.

  • Thirty-three of the flats would be affordable housing.


Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

1. Where did Amazon plan to builld its new headquarters?

2. Why did Amazon decide to cancel its plans?

3. What other city was considered as a location for Amazon's second headquarters?

4. Why do many tech companies want to have their offices in New York?


Exercise 3

Make a sentence.

Make sentences using these words.

suspend, assistance, negotiation, housing


Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions. 

1. What do you think about Amazon's decision?

2. Do you use Amazon? If yes, what do you use it for?

3. Do you like online shopping?

4. What are some big companies in your area or city?



This lesson is based on a news article originally published by VOA.