It was a chilly Valentine's Day when Amazon broke up with New York City.
In a flash, the Jeff Bezos-led, Seattle-based giant packed up its offer of 25,000 potential jobs once it became clear that opposition to its second headquarters plan in the Queens neighborhood of Long island City wasn't buckling.
There was plenty of finger-pointing from Albany's state house to New York's city hall after Amazon bailed on Queens. Yet everyone involved might have taken a lesson in economic development from neighboring Brooklyn and some inspiration from a hamlet in New Jersey that struck its own deal with Amazon.
Sixty miles west of the Hudson River drama, the mayor of Robbinsville Township, David Fried, is still seeing green.
Fried recently said that the Amazon warehouse that opened in 2014 continues to rake in profits and has created positive impacts in the lives of its 14,000 or so residents.
"We built a new municipal building in the same year we cut taxes," he said. "Our economy has grown."
The online retailer's arrival in Robbinsville helped his constituents benefit from three consecutive years of tax reductions — something that rarely happens in a high-tax burden state like New Jersey.
The mayor praised what Amazon calls its Career Choices program, which uses partnerships with educational institutions to provide college, technical and vocational classes, and prepays up to 95 percent of the tuition for the students. In Fried's township, Amazon says about 500 people have used the program, with 200 taking advantage in the last year.
"They bring the school to them," Fried said. "I've never seen anything like it."
"There's an entire segment of the population who cannot go to school," he added. "It's a game-changer for them."