Amazon has picked its two new headquarter locations
18 Nov 2018
Amazon’s hunt for a second headquarters is drawing to a close, as two locations have been tapped to host the HQ2. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the headquarters will be in northern Virginia and New York City. This follows news that the second headquarters will actually be broken down into two smaller HQs.
The HQ2 promised to bring “as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs” to whatever state won the company’s approval, and as such Amazon received 238 proposals from cities. However, when a shortlist of 20 cities was released, inhabitants of these cities expressed concern at the effects it could have, such as strain on public transport and gentrification of local areas. These concerns likely contributed to the decision to split HQ2 in half. Having two locations also ensured that recruiting enough tech talent is not an issue.
The New York City base of operations is to be in Long Island City, and the Virginian headquarters is to be in Arlington, in the Crystal City district. It’s unclear at this time how the 50,000 jobs will be distributed between the two locations.
With easy access to huge metropolitan hubs and airports (as Arlington is rather near Washington DC), it’s no wonder that Amazon chose the two east coast locations for its second hub.
Amazon executives had previously met with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the Times reports that those familiar with the meeting said that the state had offered hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies in order to tempt the e-commerce giant. “We have a great incentive package,” Cuomo later told reporters when asked about the meeting. “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes, because it would be a great economic boost.”
In a way, it’s a shame that Amazon didn’t accept any proposals from cities that found more unorthodox methods of advertising themselves — the mayor of Stonecrest, Georgia offered to rename the city “Amazon”, and an economic development group from Tucson, Arizona sent Amazon a giant saguaro cactus (a gift that was sadly rejected).
It’s worth noting that before Amazon had formally announced its new locations the Wall Street Journal had New York and Virginia pegged as the most likely locations.