Two Cities Have A Shot Of Being HQ2 For Amazon

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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter gives Jeff Bezos, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Amazon.com a tour of the Pentagon during a visit May 5 , 2016. (DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)

CEO Jeff Bezos and his executive team at Amazon finally got together and realized that putting a second headquarters in one city was a bad idea. It’s a bad idea because Amazon plans to house 50,000 employees in that second headquarters. That means the city Amazon chooses will have to address housing and traffic issues.

Crystal City, Virginia seems to be the frontrunner for the new Amazon headquarters. But the city will have to add more housing in their urban development plan in order to make the influx of new people more manageable. Crystal City will also have to build more roads and add more infrastructure. Crystal City is on the short list, but many residents of this Washington suburb aren’t happy with Amazon’s plan to invade their city.

Amazon is right in the middle of hiring aggressively for the company’s cloud computing division. And Amazon wants more help in developing Alexa, the company’s artificial-intelligence assistant. The market for computer programmers, software engineers, and artificial intelligence experts is hot right now. Amazon needs more employees that can handle these tech jobs, but so do financial institutions and giant retailers.

The executives who are responsible for Amazon’s growth now think adding another city like Dallas or Long Island City makes more sense. Amazon’s Seattle headquarters employs 45,000 people, and the plan is to add 25,000 employees to Crystal City and 25,000 to either Dallas or Long Island City. Amazon plans to invest more than $5 billion in the economies of those two cities over the next 20 years.

More than 200 cities were on Amazon’s expansion list when the hunt for a second headquarters started. But Crystal City holds a special place in the heart of Jeff Bezos. He has a home in Washington, and he also owns the Washington Post. So, Amazon insiders are betting Crystal City is definitely one of the new headquarters cities unless Bezos changes his mind. He does that a lot, according to several media reports.

But Long Island City has a good chance and so does Dallas. Dallas has a lower cost of living, and the city offers tax abatements, infrastructure cost-sharing, public-private partnership incentives, and those perks may influence Amazon’s decision. The Dallas perks that got the attention of the Amazon executives who are leading the charge to get this second headquarters up and running.

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