It has been a real-life business drama that many feel has been going on for too long. September of last year saw global online retail giant Amazon stunning North America with its proposed plan of building a new corporate headquarters, codenamed HQ2, outside of their original home in Seattle. This spurred a frenzy of cities, towns and states bidding to become the host for HQ2, with all its related business perks. Amazon narrowed the candidates down to 20 in December 2017, and then went quiet for almost all of this year. But now it seems the story may soon conclude.
The Verge reports that Amazon has begun in-depth discussions with local officials at Crystal City. For those who might still recall the top 20 shortlist released by Amazon for possible HQ2 site-candidates way back in January, you may not see the name. But Crystal City is an urbanized neighborhood in Arlington County to the northern part of Virginia, which is part of the shortlist. Descriptions by insiders of the talks between Amazon and Crystal City say these are much further “advanced” and “more detailed” than other discussions done by the internet retail juggernaut with other locations in their HQ2 shortlist.
Apparently part of the topics between the Amazon-Crystal City talks is the possibility of which buildings in the area will suffice for occupation by the prospective personnel for HQ2, implying that Amazon may not have to erect a structure wholesale. The rate by which Amazon employees can be moved into the area to begin operations was also brought up, with the most optimal estimate saying that several hundred people can set up shop in two office buildings considered by Amazon within nine months at best. If Crystal City in Northern Virginia has been bagged as the site for HQ, then the official announcement to that effect could potentially be made later in the month, after the 2018 US Midterm elections.
It is not hard to understand why many communities in the US and even some in Canada wanted to court Amazon for its HQ2. The project would have led to a $5 billion Amazon investment in the area, plus open up job opportunities for 50,000 employees. Aside from northern Virginia, the other candidates include Washington DC (literally minutes away north of Crystal City), 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, New York; Northern Virginia, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Toronto, Ontario.
Image from Wall Street Journal