Amazon Trying to Finalize Plans to Open HQ2 in LIC


Amazon has said it could spend more than $5 billion on the new headquarters over the next 17 years, about matching the size of its current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and 40,000 employees. It's part of the campus of 44 Amazon buildings, with more under construction. In total, Amazon received proposals from 238 cities past year and reduced the list down to 20 finalists in January. But as the company provides few updates, theories and leaks about which city will be crowned victor continue to swirl - and this week has brought a fresh flurry of news.

Later, The New York Times reported that Amazon was "nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens" and "is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia, a Washington suburb".

Dallas, Long Island City in NY and Arlington near Washington, D.C. are all among the finalists with which Amazon is holding advanced talks, one of the people said on condition of anonymity. The others were Midtown West, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Lower Manhattan.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing for Amazon to move its second headquarters to the state, telling reporters on Monday he would change his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to secure the deal.

Wherever the split HQ2 winds up, "there will be two very happy cities".

Amazon may now split those jobs equally between two locations, The Wall Street Journal reported, with each getting 25,000.

Here's what we know about where HQ2 plans stand. By doing so, Amazon will disperse the pressures on housing, transportation, and talent that HQ2 will intensify.

Amazon's announcement over a year ago that they would establish a second headquarters that is a "full equal" to their original headquarters in Seattle was seen as a snub of the city.

Selecting those areas would bring more jobs to places that already have plenty.

The Wall Street Journal said Dallas is also a possibility.

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Which cities are still in the running, and who are the top contenders?

Amazon declined comment on those news reports.

Choosing D.C. and NY "is a repudiation of all these stories about Silicon Valley getting too expensive, and that there are 20 different cities where you could successfully operate a tech company", said Greg Bialecki, a principal at the real estate firm Redgate, and a former MA housing and economic development secretary. According to the Journal's sources, talks with other cities - such as Denver, Toronto and Nashville - appear to have fizzled out. As the owner of The Washington Post, she said Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos "has to be in D.C. anyway.and even more, I believe Bezos and his leadership need to be in D.C. more often because of the increasing likelihood of government regulation on Amazon".

"Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection", Grella said. "And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin".

"Certainly not bad news", a source in the developer community responded.

Meanwhile, the Washington, DC, metro area has been considered a favorite for the site.

The tempting offer sent cities across the United States, Mexico and Canada into a frenzy.

"What comes out of this is that we didn't catch the big fish but we've been catching a lot of smaller fish that are easier to assimilate into our economy and our business sector than it would have been to land a big whale like Amazon". The city touted its diverse technical talent, universal health care and welcoming immigration system.

Boyd says Northern Virginia always has been an HQ2 frontrunner and would represent a "safe choice" for Amazon. Not far behind is Newark, New Jersey, which announced $7 billion in incentives to attract the company. But the city "realistically" can support a split version of HQ2, he says.

This may have something to do with Amazon being sensitive to criticisms that no one municipality could absorb the large impact of Amazon's HQ2 as it had been proposed.

According to a source familiar with the search, Amazon wrapped up visits to all 20 finalists this summer. "Not a single city or site". "If you ran the demographics on suburban New York City and D.C., they've probably got a deeper pool of people who do stuff other than coding and engineering".