A year and some two months after Amazon announced it to a flabbergasted North America, a decision has been made at last. Said decision was regarding the location of choice for a new corporate headquarters to house the ever growing organization of the online retailing giant, an HQ2 to its HQ1 in Seattle. Over 200 proposals from the US and Canada were sent to Amazon, which trimmed them down to a 20-item shortlist. And this week, the winners were announced. Yes, winners; as HQ2 would be split into two campuses. But one of the winning locations is not entirely thrilled.
Tech Crunch tells us that Amazon has decided to pick New York City and northern Virginia to be the addresses of their HQ2s. They would create two campuses, splitting the proposed 50,000 HQ2 workforce between Long Island City in Queens, and Crystal City in Arlington. A statement by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos goes: “We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in a statement. “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 team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”
Both locations will also receive half of the planned $5 billion investment from Amazon to develop the two campuses that together will function as the long-coveted HQ2. On a separate note, the company will also open an Operations Center for Excellence in Nashville, with no less than 5,000 Amazon jobs.
In New York however, the Long Island City portion of HQ2 is coming under fire from concerned locals under the lead of two state politicians. NY State Senator Michael Gianaris and NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer are decrying the impending tax incentives that New York will be funneling through Amazon in return for its setting up shop with them, drawn from taxpayer dollars. The two issued a joint statement saying, “We will continue to stand up against what can only be described as a bad deal for New York and for Long Island City.”
Other government officials with a low opinion on Amazon HQ2 in New York include US Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand, US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and NY State Assemblyman Ron Kim, who is currently pushing for legislation to convert those subsidies to Amazon into cancelling student debts in the state. Gillibrand also adds, “One of the wealthiest companies in history should not be receiving financial assistance from the taxpayers while too many New York families struggle to make ends meet.”
Images: NY Times and WSJ