Amazon Narrows HQ2 Browse to 20 Markets

E-Commerce Giant Consists Of Many Significant Markets but Likewise a Few Surprises in Running for $5 Billion, 50,000-job HQ in 2018

Credit: Amazon(

Nasdaq: AMZN) issued a list of 20 cities making the next cut in the competitors to host the company’s 2nd North America headquarters. This top 20 were narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico in an unmatched bidding procedure to host the company’s 2nd North America headquarters.

Amazon said it will operate in coming months with each of the prospect areas to ask for more information and “dive deeper into their propositions” for the web seller’s prepared $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 staff members, a collaboration expected to bring extensive economic advancement advantages to the winning market.

Editor’s note: More to follow as CoStar News updates this breaking news story throughout the day. Upgraded: 2:50 p.m. EST

The next cut for the enormous headquarters includes anticipated competitors such as New York City, Chicago, L.A. and D.C., but likewise several smaller markets such as Raleigh, Indianapolis, Columbus, Newark and Pittsburgh. Amazon listed the cities in alphabetical order and offered no signals about which geographical location or market the company would prefer.

The morning choice brought swift response from local officials competing for the headquarters.

“We are beaming today,” stated Kelly Smallridge, president of business Development Board of Palm Beach County, FL, of Miami’s addition on the list. “South Florida is hip, elegant, urban and we’re attractive to millennials. I’m not shocked at all that we made the list.”

The South Florida counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade teamed to provide a local bid to Amazon that included private real estate websites in each county, Smallridge stated.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working more carefully with [Amazon] to show them why Music City would be the best suitable for their business,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a Twitter post.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett tweeted that Central Indiana’s “special combination of connectivity, lifestyle, and economical living has when again put us on the international stage.” In a statement, Hogsett stated the addition shows that “every day we are acquiring more acknowledgment as a growing tech hub.”

“As a successful city with a gifted and diverse labor force, culture of development and chance for all, I see no much better city than Boston for Amazon to call their second house,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh stated in a declaration.

While Boston shares finalist status with 19 other cities, residents feel Beantown might have much better chances than most of its rivals. That sensation was reinforced when it was exposed two weeks ago that Amazon was currently looking for to lease up to 1 million square feet in the city.

Amazon has been planning to land space in the city’s revamped Seaport District, separate from the head office search. Boston’s main quote for the new Amazon head office is focused around the 161-acre Suffolk Downs horse racing track property in East Boston and neighboring Revere. The business currently utilizes about 1,000 people in the city.

Which United States Region Has the Edge?

As the day advanced, analysts speculated on exactly what part of the nation has a higher likelihood of landing the desirable head office. To name a few observers, Stephen Basham, CoStar senior market expert for the Los Angeles market, believes Eastern markets have an edge.

“Amazon looks to be interested in broadening their geographical footprint,” Basham said. “Three-fourths of the finalist cities are east of the Mississippi River, and Los Angeles was the only West Coast city to make the cut.”

The choice of 3 metros in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia region has to place the area among the favorites, Basham said. As has constantly held true, though, the final choice will likely depend upon exactly what specific incentives and concessions the prospects are willing to offer.

“It would be difficult to overstate the impact that an Amazon head office would have,” Basham added. “You just need to take a look at how Seattle has actually transformed over the past 10-15 years as an example of a major city that has actually been improved and rejuvenated by a single business.”

Residential REIT analyst Aaron Hecht of JMP Securities suggested that Atlanta or Austin are the most likely location due to their active tech market bases, quality higher-education institutions, favorable cost of living and low business tax rates.

“Although a number of East Coast cities have more powerful tactical geographic areas to conduct service worldwide, we believe the benefits being offered by much of those cities will eventually be thinned down by regional politics,” Hecht continued.

“With Amazon already having its very first head office in Seattle, which has a high cost of living and with local political leaders aiming to increase taxes on high wage earners, we believe the company will search for a city with more conservative views on tax policies,” Hecht said.

Amazon’s move comes less than a day after Apple, Inc. revealed strategies to ramp up its US financial investment by adding 20,000 jobs and another U.S. business school in investments worth an estimated $350 billion to the United States economy over 5 years.

Amazon stated its HQ2 will be a total co-headquarters and not a satellite workplace. In addition to direct hiring and financial investment, construction and continuous operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of extra jobs and tens of billions of dollars in extra investment in the surrounding area.

Over the past five years, Amazon has invested more than $100 billion in the United States, consisting of business workplaces, development and research centers, fulfillment facilities and payment to the business’s 540,000 workers.

“Receiving from 238 to 20 was really tough,” said Holly Sullivan, of Amazon Public Policy. “All the proposals revealed incredible enthusiasm and creativity. Through this procedure we learnt more about numerous brand-new neighborhoods throughout The United States and Canada that we will think about as places for future infrastructure financial investment and job production.”

The 20 metropolitan areas advancing to the next phase of the process consist of the following:

Columbus, OH
Los Angeles
Montgomery County, MD
Newark, NJ
New York City
Northern Virginia
Raleigh, NC
Washington, D.C.

CoStar News press reporters and editors Mark Heschmeyer, Paul Owers and John Doherty and Jacquelyn Ryan added to this report.

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