The city's top economic development official admitted Thursday that the Amazon deal was botched from the get-go.
"The rollout didn't go as smoothly as it could have. I think we all regret that, "James Patchett, president of the Economic Development Corporation, said at a Crain's Business Forum in Midtown.
" There's no question that the company was not prepared for what happened in New York City, "he said. said, but blamed on the lack of preparedness on Amazon for failing to have a "single New York to work with them" or to connect with residents.
He also pointed to information about the $ 3 billion in subsidies, saying that even his professional friends didn't understand the economics of the deal.
"Why did you [give] them a check for $ 3 billion?" Patchett said he was asked. In fact, the subsidies would be in the form of future tax breaks ̵
Patchet faulted both Amazon and elected officials who supported the deal for losing the PR game. "We tried to counsel them in that regard," Patchett said. "They were not playing their cards as effectively as they could."
He did not actually sell the project to New Yorkers, even though public polls showed a majority of residents approved of the deal.
"Not enough people could see themselves in those jobs," Patchett said.
"We need to do a better job of making people not just about jobs but believe that would be the jobs they would get."
He acknowledged that Rep. Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez's opposition to the deal contributed to its demise.
He ignored the quip.
During a question-and-answer segment, Patch revealed that Amazon was most concerned about the high cost of living for its employees, but was also about the crumbling subway system. ] Still, Amazon execs said the city's 300-page proposal offering up to 50 million square feet of real estate was "the best they had received from father," Patchett boasted.
14 that it was pulling out of its tentative agreement to open and massive headquarters in Long Island City because of opposition from some local officials, progressive activists and union leaders.