The suspense grows every day in the wait for Amazon to announce the location for its second headquarters. The retail giant is supposed to announce by the end of 2018 where it will invest more than $5 billion and create 50,000 well-paying jobs over the next decade. Now, two cities have gotten second looks from the HQ2 search committee, local media is reporting.
Amazon (amzn) representatives have visited all 20 cities on the short list: Toronto, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, Boston, New York City, Newark, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montgomery County in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Northern Virginia, Atlanta and Miami.
Media reports say Amazon search committee members have made second trips to Miami and Chicago this fall. The South Florida Business Journal had sources saying a return visit happened in September. The Chicago Tribune reported Amazon representatives in August visited The 78, a 62-acre development in the city’s South Loop neighborhood.
Everyone’s got a theory as to what city Amazon will eventually pick. Many experts like the odds of Amazon putting down roots in the D.C. area, and Sperling’s Best Places has put its bet on Oatlands, Va.
As Amazon announced last week it would raise its minimum wage for all workers to $15, urbanist Richard Florida encouraged Jeff Bezos and his company to forgo taxpayer-funded incentives from cities clamoring for HQ2. “Amazon itself has much to gain by coupling its efforts to do better by both its workers and America’s towns. The risk to its reputation for being viewed as a bad corporate citizen far outweigh the amount of money such efforts would cost,” Florida wrote at CityLab.