Amazon, the world’s largest online retail platform, caused quite the stir last year when it turned its quest for a suitable site for a second corporate headquarters in North America to a grand competition of sorts between cities and towns with powerful economic rewards and potential repercussions. For a time the “Amazon HQ2” fever gripped the US and Canada in a surprisingly strong grip. The deadline for submitting pitches to the net giant wasn’t very long, and with the company debating in private, the furor died down. Now they have made their shortlist, and everybody is…surprisingly chill about it.
CBS reports that Amazon has finally managed to whittle down their initial big batch of city proposals into a more manageable list of what could technically be called “finalists” for the prospective site of their highly coveted corporate HQ2. A statement from Holly Sullivan from Amazon Public Policy says: “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity.” The statement went on to reveal that the global online retail king learned that there were indeed many North American urban and suburban communities worthy of consideration for many future Amazon infrastructure aside from HQ2 itself.
Here then is the Final 20 Choices for Amazon to establish their HQ2 in alphabetical order: Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Toronto, Ontario; and Washington, D.C. The states of Texas and Pennsylvania both have double the reason to celebrate as being the only ones with more than one city on the Amazon shortlist. Furthermore, most of the cities on the list are “obvious” choices.
The timing of Amazon’s announcing their HQ2 final 20 is rather interesting in itself. It was only one day following Apple’s own public statement that they are looking into establishing a second corporate campus of their own. The tech giant made mention of committing $350 billion to the US economy for a five-year period, plus the prospect of generating 20,000 paying jobs. That does sound a lot like the original 2017 proposal by Amazon to entice North American cities to send their company bids for HQ2. Amazon’s original corporate center, HQ1, is in Seattle. Apple’s meanwhile is in Cupertino, California.
State and provincial governments who had cities or counties in the Amazon shortlist expressed their appreciation for their inclusion. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf was fully confident that both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh would make it through. Amazon had begun its canvassing of suitable locations for HQ2 back in September of 2017.
Photo courtesy of NBC News