Somerset County is still open for business if Amazon plans to continue its search for a place to open the other half of its second North American headquarters.
On Friday, Somerset County Freeholder Director Brian Levine announced the county’s willingness to host the e-commerce company at a meeting of the Somerset County Employers Legislative Committee.
The retail giant pulled its proposed HQ2 out of Long Island City, N.Y. earlier this month amidst opposition from local officials.
“I am not just proposing this for Somerset County,” Levine said in a statement. “I am going to reach out to the mayor’s office in Newark and suggest a joint proposal. Then we would have an urban-suburban mix and diverse landscape, yet geographic proximity.”
Amazon said it plans to go ahead with the other half of its HQ2 in Virginia, a move expected to bring up to 25,000 new jobs.
“This multi-pronged approach will be far superior to any one proposal from anywhere,” Levine added.
Although Amazon said it does not plan to look for another site for the HQ2, New Jersey officials – including Gov. Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka – said they have been prodding Amazon to keep New Jersey mind.
New Jersey has been offering $5 billion in tax credits for Amazon to move its HQ2 to Newark, on top of $2 billion more of tax cuts the city has put on the table.
But Murphy, on Feb. 15, said the $5 billion of tax credits was contingent on the creation of 50,000 new jobs. The Virginia and New York HQ2’s would have instead each created up 25,000 additional jobs.