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Amazon selects New York City, Northern Virginia, for its HQ2 sites



New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for

Amazon.com
Second and Third Headquarters of Inc.


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(19659003) testify to persons familiar with the matter and have completed more than a year of public competition, which started with 238 candidates and ended with a surprise distribution of the so-called HQ2.

The announcement is expected by the population on Tuesday. Other cities could also get important sites, some people said.

Amazon divides its second headquarters equally between New York's Long Island City and Arlington County, Crystal City, both of which are directly across from the major city centers. The company plans an even division of offices with up to 25,000 employees.

The decision gives Amazon a significant presence in three coastal hubs that are politically leftward, at a time when tech companies are being put to the test because of their elitism and their liberalism.

Amazon declined to comment.

  A view of New York's Long Island City. Amazon executives concluded that the company could hire more tech talent if it were to expand HQ2 activity into more than one location.

A view of New York's Long Island City. Amazon executives concluded that the company could hire more tech talent when it distributes HQ2 activity into more than one location.


Photo:

Kevin Hagen for the Wall Street Journal

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Government officials in New York and Northern Virginia expected to hold events for notices on Tuesday Information from people who are familiar with the matter.

The mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio discussed the Amazon deal on Monday night during his weekly television appearance, although he has not confirmed that the city was officially selected. He was confident that HQ2 would come to New York City. "We are talking about the largest retail trade development agreement in the history of New York City," he said.

The move from Amazon to New York challenges its rival Google, which is preparing for its own expansion in the city. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the

alphabet
Inc.

The unit will add office space to more than 12,000 new workers, an amount almost double that of the current search giant in the city. At the journal's D.Live technology conference, Google chief financial officer Ruth Porat confirmed on Monday night that the company intends to double the number of its 7,000 employees in New York City over a decade.

Amazon recently conducted multi-site negotiations, including multiple locations in New York, Crystal City and Dallas, people who were previously familiar with the matter said. Aside from its HQ2 decision, Amazon may also announce that other cities have won big projects, but it was not clear in what form they would look or where they would go.

The District of Columbia district, which had three locations below its locations, finalists, including Crystal City, have long been considered top-tier candidates because Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, has a second home there and owns the Washington Post.

Crystal City, an office and residential building near the Pentagon in the 1960s, has become less important in the last decade as major tenants, including the Department of Defense and private sector tenants, have deployed.

Its sheer size and proximity to Washington, Reagan National Airport, subway stops and other means of transport made it an attractive prospect for the ambitious plan of the second headquarters of Amazon, according to the people involved in the discussions. In addition, it is in the hands of a single developer.

One possible drawback is the region's notoriously poor traffic, which, in the opinion of those familiar with the matter, would likely require substantial new investment. The impact of Amazon on housing could be significant.

Virginia could be politically good for Amazon, as it is an important purple swing state that promises political influence, no matter which party is in power. While the D.C. region lacks the top culture of New York, it's big, very diverse and maybe just hip enough.

Long Island City, Queens, was a longtime industrial district that has built more than 16,000 new homes since 2006. It is the fastest growing community in New York City.

The neighborhood is along the East River and is accessible via several subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road and two ferry stops. It is also close to La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports.

While the city comprised four-quarters of its original offer, officials from the outset turned to Long Island City, according to the persons familiar with the case. [19659006] Amazon began searching in North America in September 2017 with the goal of building a second, equitable headquarters at its Seattle home base. The new location would provide around 50,000 jobs and billions in investment.

Amazon restricted competition to 20 finalist cities in January, then asked for data and made two-day site visits where cities wanted to impress the company's business development team.

Then came the big surprise One week ago, as the Journal reported, Amazon was planning to split its second headquarters equally into two locations rather than choosing a city. The plans were changed after Amazon executives concluded that they could gain more of the best technology talent by dividing the office into two locations. By halving the size, Amazon would help solve potential problems in housing, transportation, and other areas where tens of thousands of workers could cause problems.

The decision to split one of the largest economic development projects in recent history sparked fierce criticism of Amazon's original intentions, but also new hopes. Some city officials said they had tailored their proposals to those needs, others said they had increased their city's chances.

The split also raised the question of how well the two new locations will match Amazon's current Seattle base, employing more than 45,000 people.

  A view of Crystal City last month. The decision to divide the new headquarters gives Amazon a significant presence in three coastal cities.

A view of Crystal City last month. The decision to divide the new headquarters makes Amazon effectively present in three coastal cities.


Photo:

Jason Andrew for the Wall Street Journal

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Amazon paid a variety of qualifications for the selection of its new major sites, including access to public transportation, proximity to an airport with direct flights to and from Seattle and, perhaps most importantly, a pool of available tech talents nearby. The company also weighed whether it would be one of the largest companies in a city, which could turn it into a magnet for the same type of audit it receives in Seattle because of social issues. In addition, Amazon hoped that its investment in a new area would provide a real economic impact that highlighted the ability to create jobs.

Some economics experts scratched at Amazon's decision to bring the process to the public, which led to factors such as a longer than usual short lists and speculative real estate purchases near proposed locations.

In addition, potential incentives that could place Amazon in certain areas have been subject to additional scrutiny.

However, the process has led to a year of positive publicity highlighting Amazon's ability to create jobs and investment as a company He faced critics from President Donald Trump to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who asked the company about pay issues have called.

"This really was a platform for Amazon to market its transition from traditional e-commerce to a large market." A technology company that creates jobs across industries, said John Boyd, head of Boyd's Location Selection Consultancy. "It was also a platform for cities to compete in front of a global audience."

The election of its new office locations follows Amazon's September announcement that the minimum wage for warehouse workers will increase to $ 15 an hour. Amazon also announced major hiring plans last year as it builds more warehouses and expands its workforce in the US.

Amazon's decision leaves a group of cities that spent months and resources without a clear reward. Some cities have said the process has raised awareness of other potential business development businesses. Amazon said it could consider other vendors for other projects as well.

Please contact Laura Stevens at laura.stevens@wsj.com and Keiko Morris at Keiko.Morris@wsj.com


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