The long wait for Amazon’s second HQ could finally be over. The e-commerce giant is reported to have finally settled on two cities to host its HQ2. Reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times confirm that Amazon is in advanced talks to build its second headquarters in the Long Island City section in Queens, New York. The company has also settled on the Crystal City area in Arlington, Virginia. The decision comes almost a year after the company announced that it was looking to build a second HQ.
Amazon is currently hosted in Seattle, Washington. The search for a second home was a much-publicized stunt as hundreds of cities across North America applied. Some cities even offered huge tax incentives in their effort to attract the e-commerce giant. But it seems finally that Long Island and Arlington have won the race. The new HQ is promising the host cities billions of dollars in new investments as well as tens of thousands of high paying jobs. Amazon had said that the plan is to have at least some parts of its second HQ campus up and running sometime in 2019. It’s very likely that the work on the design and development of HQ2 will start immediately.
Amazon had shortlisted 20 finalists from the hundreds of applications and proposals that it received from almost all major cities in the US. In addition to this, the company made sure that the selection process remained secret. However, the e-commerce giant said that it was looking at cities that would be comfortable for its younger workforce to settle in and work in a competitive way. Until last week, the understanding was that Amazon would settle in one city. However, a report in the Wall Street Journal appeared to suggest that in fact the company is looking at two locations.
Out of the 50,000 jobs that the company is promising to create, half will be in one city and half in the other. Amazon still maintained that it hasn’t yet made any final decision on the cities to go for. But people who are familiar with the matter have told major news outlets that the negotiations to set up in Long Island City and Crystal City are at a very advanced stage. It’s very unlikely that anything will happen to change the current course of events.
As people kept guessing where the HQ2 would be located, there were a lot of names thrown into the mix. However, it didn’t look like many people were rooting for New York. Although the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo had made it clear that it would be a pleasure to host Amazon’s second home, a lot of analysts were looking at locations beyond the Big Apple. Reports indicate that Cuomo had in fact met with Amazon executives two weeks ago to try to push the deal through, and it seems that these efforts paid dividends in the end. The biggest challenge for Amazon now will be to work with local business leaders in the cities it has chosen to integrate its business into the local community.