Amazon Ends HQ2 Derby By Picking NYC, Northern Virginia

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After more than a year of investigation by Amazon and salesmanship by metro areas across the country, the king of e-commerce announced that it’s going to be putting two additional “headquarters” operations in New York City and Arlington, Va., as well as a smaller operations center in Nashville.

Besides proving to be one of the biggest economic development sweepstakes in global history, the Amazon selection process also proved to be a great boon for the company’s brand, elevating its image as a high-tech employer of importance along with the familiar names in Silicon Valley, and highlighting the economic impact it already has on jobs, the supply chain and tech growth across America.

The East Coast bastions beat out hundreds of other hopeful cities throughout the Heartland, the South and other parts of the country in large part because Amazon executive believed metro New York and northern Virginia promised the best pool of available and potential tech workers. Even after Amazon decided to equally split a single “HQ2” worth 50,000 jobs into two “second headquarters” initiatives, no other city—even other strong candidates such as Chicago and Dallas—emerged as promising that same capability.

Amazon said that New York’s Long Island City, just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side, will get 25,000 new full-time jobs with an average wage of more than $150,000, about $2.5 billion in Amazon investment, and incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years. In exchange, Amazon will receive for $1.5 billion in performance-based direct incentives from the city and state.

Meanwhile, National Landing (a new name for Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia), less than three miles from downtown Washington, DC, will also get its 25,000 jobs, average wage of $150,000  and $2.5 billion in Amazon investment as well as an estimated $3.2 billion in incremental tax revenue over the next 20 years. For that, the community and state are giving up performance-based direct incentives of $573 million.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in a press release. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come.”

The Nashville announcement was a far cry from realizing the hopes of many in the middle of the country who’d hoped that Amazon would land there and jump start some city’s fledgling efforts to develop a digital-tech ecosystem. Besides Nashville, Dallas, Chicago and Indianapolis were said to be among the strongest candidates between the coasts.

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