Amazon Narrows H2Q Contenders to Top 20

Michele Moreno
January 22, 2018

Amazon said on Thursday that Toronto and 19 USA locales made the first cut in a contest to find a second headquarters where it promises to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs.

The weird beauty contest has seen mayors around the United States attempt to woo the $600 billion (€491 billion) technology company to build its second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, in their city, with offers of generous tax breaks, subsidised construction costs, gifts (including a giant cactus from Tucson, Arizona) and even name changes. Cities are in fierce competition to lure Amazon, and the company said past year that it received 238 proposals. Some of the cities on this list that Amazon has listed here are Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. "Dallas and Austin made the list, along with 18 other cities". Also making the cut were northern Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland, and Toronto - the only non-U.S. city.

Inc. said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

Economic leaders in Orlando said the region continues to struggle to put together a cohesive pitch that clearly defines the region's strengths, which include a deep tech talent pool and available land.

"While it's not really a surprise, it's always good to see your name on the list", said Caroline Booth, the city of Denton's economic development director.

Getting there was "very tough" and everyone showed "tremendous enthusiasm and creativity", but there will be only one victor in the hunt for America's Next Top Amazon Headquarters.

"So, we're getting national publicity on their dime, not ours", he said.

Amazon's second headquarters will not be coming to MetroWest, but local officials still hope the region will financially benefit if Boston is picked for HQ2.

Glen reiterated Mayor Bill de Blasio's position that Amazon will receive no special incentives from the city, though the retailer could take advantage of as-of-right tax breaks in some of the locations the city has offered. Vallejo's application created a much wider awareness of the economic development opportunities available here.

The company had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an global airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

"New Hampshire's groundbreaking proposal to recruit Amazon was the most comprehensive business marketing plan our state has ever produced", Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement.

Almost 20 cities and states across the USA that originally applied turned down requests from The Associated Press to detail the promises they've made.

As you may have heard, Amazon has narrowed its list of potential HQ2 sites.

"We know headquarters locations are driven by where the CEO has a home", said Richard Florida, a professor and researcher who studies urban development.

More: Could Amazon HQ No. 2 come to Sioux Falls?

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