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Amazon to Open 2nd North American Headquarters, Pits Cities in Bidding War


Amazon logoAmazon published what was more of a Request for Proposal than a press release as it seeks a city in which to build a second North American headquarters. It said the new headquarters would be a full equal to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, and is expected to grow to 50,000 employees. It plans to invest over $5 billion in construction and operation of Amazon HQ2.

The Wall Street Journal noted the announcement is likely to “set off a frenzy,” and noted that “Amazon has received more than $1 billion in incentives since 2000 from state and local governments to help the company build its warehouses, according to Good Jobs First, a group that is critical of corporate tax credits.”

But cities seeking to become the home of Amazon “HQ2” should be careful about what they wish for – Geekwire noted the complex relationship between Amazon and its hometown of Seattle. “Amazon’s expansion has been both a boon and a challenge in Seattle, fueling an economic boom and job growth but also contributing to the region’s rising housing prices and traffic problems.”

Press release follows:

Amazon today announced plans to open Amazon HQ2, a second company headquarters in North America. Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community. Amazon is opening the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal (“RFP”) now, and local and state government leaders interested in learning more about how they can bring Amazon to their community can visit www.amazon.com/amazonHQ2.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars for the city’s economy overall.

With more than 380,000 employees worldwide, Amazon ranks #1 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 on LinkedIn’s U.S. most desirable companies list. Amazon was also recently included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.

“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has a preference for:

– Metropolitan areas with more than one million people

– A stable and business-friendly environment

– Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent

– Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

– An urban or downtown campus

– A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus

– A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline.

Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon – not a satellite office. Amazon expects to hire new teams and executives in HQ2, and will also let existing senior leaders across the company decide whether to locate their teams in HQ1, HQ2 or both. The company expects that employees who are currently working in HQ1 can choose to continue working there, or they could have an opportunity to move if they would prefer to be located in HQ2.

To learn more about Amazon’s current Seattle headquarters, plans for Amazon HQ2, and to submit a proposal, visit amazon.com/amazonHQ2.

See press release for a chart containing some details about Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

SOURCE: Amazon Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Amazon to Open 2nd North American Headquarters, Pits Cities in Bidding War”

  1. Leaves out Michigan with the highest in the nation car insurance and gas taxes. But then again there are a lot of burned out old auto plants in downtown Detoilet. But then again the roads leading to them are pot hole pits. We have a full time group in Lansing that are mostly on vacation. We are a right to work state and don’t have a 15.00 dollar an hour minimum wage for people without educations.

  2. Oh great a huge corporation promises jobs. Of course cities and states will fall all over themselves with free stuff to get Amazon locate in their area. Meanwhile they will ignore the needs of small business.

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