Amazon has made this much clear: It will finish its search for a second headquarters by the end of the year. Beyond that, a lot is TBD
The company sent cities across North America into a frenzy last year when it announced its search. Dubbed HQ2, the new facility — or facilities — will cost at least $5 billion to construct and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.
Employees at Amazon’s (AMZN) main campus in Seattle will be offered the chance to relocate.
The company has narrowed 238 proposals down to 20 finalists, and executives have traveled across the United States and to one Canadian city to survey sites for Amazon’s new home. But as the company provides few updates, theories
On Monday night, The New York Times reported that Amazon is close to a deal to split HQ2 between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia
What qualities is Amazon seeking for HQ2?
The expected 50,000 people who will eventually work at the new headquarters will bring a huge economic boost to the winning city — or cities. The fact that the jobs pay well makes the opportunity even more attractive
But the cities must have certain attributes
Which cities are still in the running, and who are the top contenders?
Depends on who you ask
Over the past weekend, The Washington Post reported that Northern Virginia’s Crystal City was in advanced talks with Amazon for the second headquarters. On Sunday, the Journal said not only Crystal City but also Dallas and New York City were in late-stage discussions with the company. According to the Journal’s sources, talks with other cities — such as Denver, Toronto
An Amazon executive took a swipe at the Washington Post report on Saturday.
“Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as
Grella leads economic development for Amazon Web Services and has not been involved at all in the HQ2 search, a source familiar with the matter told CNN Business
Meanwhile, the Washington, DC, metro area has been considered a favorite for the site. It’s the only region with three finalists on the short list, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and has a home in the nation’s capital
Representatives for cities such as Dallas, Crystal City, Austin
What are cities offering Amazon?
Some cities got creative with their offers. Stonecrest, Georgia — which is still in the running as part of Atlanta’s bid — offered to turn over some of its
But on the whole, finalists took varying approaches to releasing their proposals to the public. Toronto, the only Canadian city on the short list, posted its entire bid online without redactions. The city touted its diverse technical talent, universal health care and welcoming immigration system. It also proposed real estate sites for the facility
Others have gone public with big tax incentives. Maryland approved $8.5 billion in incentives to Amazon — the largest known package. Not far behind is Newark, New Jersey, which announced $7 billion in incentives to attract the company
Amazon is famously secretive, so it’s no surprise the company has largely remained mum throughout the HQ2 process. Since announcing its shortlist in January, Amazon has given virtually no public updates beyond reiterating that a decision would be made this year.
Following those visits, Amazon asked the finalists for a comprehensive request for information — a standard document for economic development projects — containing a variety of questions about talent, real estate, regulations and more
In recent months, the company also reportedly revisited some of the bigger cities such as Miami, Chicago
CNN’s Clare Sebastian contributed reporting to this article.