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The Clock Is Ticking on Amazon’s HQ2. Here’s the Latest News

Since our last major update about Amazon’s hunt for a location for its second headquarters, it’s been reported that Miami and Chicago have gotten a second look, and little Oatlands, Va., near D.C., is an unlikely frontrunner. The e-commerce giant is supposed to announce by the end of 2018 which city from its short list of 20 it will select for its $5 billion investment and 50,000 well-paid jobs.

No matter which of the 20 finalist cities Amazon selects, HQ2 is going to have a dramatic effect on the local housing market. Speculators are already snapping up properties in cities on the short list, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even if a city doesn’t get picked, there’s attraction by the fact that it was even considered.

Here’s a roundup of the latest HQ2 news.

New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pulling out all the stops for HQ2, the New York Daily News reports. Cuomo is said to be offering hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies and proposed renaming Long Island City’s Newtown Creek the “Amazon River.”

It would be a dubious honor. Newtown Creek, which runs on the border between Brooklyn and Queens, is one of New York City’s most toxic waterways and became a federal Superfund site in 2010. Plus, as Marketwatch points out, Amazon is already named after a river, and a mighty one at that.

Cuomo met with Amazon executives last week in his New York City office and is willing to fly to the Seattle HQ this week to continue discussions even though he’s up for re-election on Tuesday, a source told NYDN.

Austin, Texas

While the Texas capital awaits Amazon’s decision, another multibillion-dollar tech company is moving to Austin. Honeywell (HON) completed the spinoff of its home business yesterday, and the new company, Resideo, will be moving from the Minneapolis area to Austin in early 2019. Resideo employs about 14,500 people and was valued at $4.8 billion.

March Madness, HQ2 style

The Atlanta Business Journal has put together a March Madness-style bracket to gauge support for the 20 locations still in the running for the HQ2. Currently, the top pick in the Midwest is Chicago, beating out Columbus and Indianapolis. (Though Chicago real estate billionaire Sam Zell said Amazon should not pick the Windy City.) Atlanta, understandably, has much support from the local poll, but Raleigh is also a strong contender in the Southeast. Boston leads the many cities in the Northeast, and Dallas and Austin are the two top cities in the Western category. Northern Virginia is in the lead for the D.C. area, which a panel of experts interviewed by Money favor as the front-runner.