Amazon’s HQ2 Location Search Just Took a Surprise Twist
With just weeks left until its self-imposed deadline of year-end, Amazon is close to selecting two different cities for additional North American headquarters.
Under the latest plan, the company would hire about 25,000 employees in each city, the Wall Street Journal reported. The paper earlier reported that New York City, Dallas, and Crystal City, Virginia, were among the finalists for what Amazon has called its HQ2. Amazon declined to comment to Fortune.
Later, the New York Times reported that the two cities in final contention for the split headquarters were Crystal City in Arlington, Va., near Washington D.C. and Long Island City in Queens, New York.
The e-commerce giant has spent about one year sifting through hundreds of proposals to host its additional headquarters offices and narrowed the field in January to 20 finalists. Three of the 20 finalist regions were in and around Washington, D.C., where CEO Jeff Bezos has a substantial house and owns the Washington Post newspaper.
Localities have been competing to offer tax breaks, real estate plots, and other benefits to lure Amazon (AMZN). The company said its decision criteria included a sufficient high-tech workforce, good transportation, and a “stable and business-friendly environment.” The original plan called for just one additional headquarters ultimately projected to house 50,000 workers in a $5 billion, 8-million sq. ft. campus by 2027.
Bezos himself said last week that he’d make the final decision guided by intuition: “You immerse yourself in that data but then you make the decision with your heart,” he said at a conference in New York last week.