It's Official: Amazon Picks NY and VA for HQ2

 John Hill
13. November 2018
Amazon's Seattle campus (Photo courtesy of Amazon)
Following reports in recent days, Amazon has announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters.
A press release dated November 13th states: "Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington." The company has around 40,000 employees at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

The announcement comes over a year after Amazon invited North American metropolitan areas with more than one million people to respond to its RFP (request for proposals) for HQ2. Most cities responded with billions of dollars in tax credits and often creative ways to get Amazon's attention (the Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, reviewed 1,000 products on Amazon). Amazon shortened the list from 238 to 20 cities in January.

Like the general public following the secretive process in the news, cities vying for HQ2 were expecting Amazon to pick one location for its $5 billion investment. Instead, Amazon is splitting its HQ2 in half, tapping into the tech talent and resources of two major metropolitan areas. More precisely, the Arlington headquarters will be located in National Landing, located just three miles from Washington, DC, while the NYC headquarters will be located in Long Island City, Queens, right across the East River from Midtown Manhattan.

With its promise of investing $5 billion in these two cities, Amazon is receiving what the company calls "performance-based direct incentives" totaling approximately $2 billion: $1.525 billion in NYC and $573 million in Arlington. Furthermore, Virginia will be investing nearly $200 million in new and improved infrastructure to accommodate Amazon, while NYC will use a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program to make infrastructure improvements in this corner of Queens.

In addition to announcing the sites of its two new American headquarters, Amazon revealed that it will create a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business in Nashville, Tennessee. The Center, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities, will create more than 5,000 jobs. Hiring for these thousands of jobs in three cities starts next year — as should the designing of the many buildings needed to house them.
In the beginning: Amazon's first office building (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

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