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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The initial offer for Amazon's now-canceled New York City HQ2 included $800 million more in tax credits and grants than its final $3 billion offer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Amazon is moving to New York City without the much-publicized HQ2 package. The company said in December it signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet in the city's Hudson Yards neighborhood.

What they're saying: A New York Empire State Development (ESD) official told the WSJ on Friday "that the initial offer was higher to reflect the original, larger scope of HQ2 and to draw Amazon to the negotiating table."

  • "The workforce incentives were designed with upstate areas in mind, the official said, and to help disadvantaged populations," the WSJ reports.

Details: New York state’s larger offer to Amazon — as part of the nationwide 2017 HQ2 competition — included $1.1 billion in grants and "$1.4 billion of tax credits based on the number of employees hired," per WSJ.

  • The initial offer, made in Oct. 2017, marked hundreds of millions of dollars more than what the ESD proposed a year later, per its memorandum of understanding.

Go deeper: Big Tech continues real estate spree in New York

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.