Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Amazon announces 20 finalists for its second headquarters

It's been a few months since the deadline passed to apply for Amazon's second world headquarters - and all the jobs and economy boosts that come with it - and the tech behemoth has finally released its shortlist, a group of 20 cities still in the running. Austin and Dallas join Boston, New York, D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Nashville, Denver, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Newark, Northern Virginia, Raleigh, Montgomery County in Maryland, and Columbus, Ohio as potential landing spots for the new headquarters. The new hub is projected to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs and is expected to draw more than $5 billion in investment. Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the list, alongside 19 mainly megatropolis-type US cities like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

Amazon's current headquarters is in Seattle.

Amazon announced the 20 US cities "that will proceed to the next step in the HQ2 process".

The list skews toward larger cities and metropolitan areas along the Eastern corridor, stretching as far north as Toronto and as far south as Miami. Epps said they'll continue to work with small businesses to build off the strength of the Amazon HQ2 bid.

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Numerous successful finalists appeared to sell Amazon on a winning combination of available talent (particularly in the software/IT space), infrastructure (otherwise adding 50,000 new employees could spell gridlock), community vibe (presumably one that jibes with its Pacific Northwest roots) and financial incentives.

"Making this list reaffirms what we already knew going into the bid process - Washington DC is no longer a one-company government town, we are a leader in innovation and tech, brimming with top talent and endless opportunity", Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

Many cities that made a decision to apply didn't meet Amazon's criteria.

Amazon's move to whittle its list for a second headquarters leaves more than 200 municipalities disappointed.

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Amazon said it evaluated each of the proposals based on the criteria outlined in a request for proposal (RFP) to create the list of 20 HQ2 candidates.

The de Blasio administration has stated the city is the best location for the headquarters because it has more Fortune 500 companies than any other city and 9,000 startups.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Amazon is considering 18 US cities for its second headquarters. "Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive who was the mastermind behind turning the search into a public process and coined the term 'HQ2, ' was also involved".

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