New York City Tech Luminaries Petition Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for Its Second Headquarters Location
A group of prominent New York-based tech bigwigs want Amazon to bring its second headquarters—dubbed by Amazon as “HQ2″—to the city.
Among the 60 or so signatories are Oath chairman Tim Armstrong, Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, Sprinklr founder Ragy Thomas, and dozens more tech leaders signed a letter from local tech consortium Tech:NYC to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
They played up the diversity of New York’s workforce across five boroughs and the 24 million square-feet of new office space they say will become available over the next five years.
Amazon (AMZN) would also be part of an already rich tech scene. The city is home to about 7,000 tech firms that employ nearly 300,000 people, according to the Tech: NYC letter. They also touted the city’s “robust transportation system.”
All of these efforts are in response to Amazon’s plan, announced last month, to build a second headquarters that would be “fully equal” to its Seattle home base. The company listed several criteria, including proximity to airports, major highways, and mass transit. The company allowed just over a month for interested parties to submit their proposals. At that time, Bezos said that HQ2, wherever it ends up, will employ up to 50,000 people over time and that Amazon will invest $5 billion in the project. Typically, to win big headquarters deals, states and cities have to grant tax breaks and other concessions as Boston and Massachusetts did to woo General Electric’s (GE) headquarters from Connecticut to Boston.
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The deadline for HQ2 proposals is October 19.