Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Amazon chooses New York City neighborhood, DC suburb for HQ2

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with renderings of Anable Basin Governor Andrew Cuomo and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with renderings of Anable Basin
Russell Knight | 13 November, 2018, 14:27

The source, who is familiar with the matter, told Reuters that Amazon will also announce a significant investment in one other city, in addition to revealing the two HQ2 locations.

The report, not yet confirmed by Amazon, is the latest sign that the company will split the $5 billion project and its promised 50,000 jobs among multiple sites.

Bloomberg News reported last week that the company is close to agreements that would split the new headquarters between the Crystal City area of Arlington, in Northern Virginia and Long Island City, in the NY borough of Queens.

Last week, the WSJ floated the two-city solution was under consideration, after Amazon had whittled the original 238 sites to 20 earlier this year. "We're talking about the single biggest economic development deal in the history of New York City", he said.

A building in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia that Amazon.com is reportedly considering as part of its new second headquarters is seen in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. November 6, 2018.

Amazon has yet to issue its own official comment on the report.

The New York Times had also reported last week that Amazon was finalizing plans to select the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.

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Still, landing HQ2 would represent "incredible validation of just how far NY has come", says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think tank.

The decision process has been going on since at least the end of 2017 when Amazon essentially launched a contest that sparked competition among cities across the world, including in Seattle and other areas across Washington state.

HQ2 would be "full equal to our current campus in Seattle", the company said.

The company said it would invest more than $5 billion over nearly two decades in a second headquarters, hiring as many as 50,000 full-time employees that would earn more than $100,000 a year on average. The online retail giant, which is based in Seattle, narrowed its search to 20 cities vying for HQ2 at the beginning of the year.

But Long Island City has also been straining to handle its growth. Other cities may get other responsibilities, the newspaper added.

The choice of its new office sites follows Amazon's September announcement that it would raise its minimum wage for warehouse workers to $15 (U.S.) an hour. Amazon has said it might consider some also-rans for other projects.

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