The collective business world spent over a year wondering which city Amazon would choose to host its second headquarters. From Austin to Atlanta, Denver to Dallas, and everywhere in between, dozens of cities were hopeful that they would be the one. But now, it turns out, there will be no “one.”
Instead, the company will be splitting its new HQ2 project across two different locations, one in New York and the other in Virginia. In total, there is expected to be about 50,000 people staffing the two.
One of the two locations is rumored to open in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, NY. Meanwhile, the company is nearing a deal to open the other portion of HQ2 in the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA, a suburb of Washington, D.C. It appears that in recent months, those two locations pulled out the most stops to woo Amazon and secure the financial windfall that a new location will bring.
“I am doing everything I can,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week. “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes. It would be a great economic boost.”
Amazon’s process of narrowing down HQ2 locations began all the way back in September 2017, when the company announced plans for a new headquarters. In January, they narrowed their list of candidate cities to 20, with many of them later falling out of the running late this summer and this fall. The New York and D.C. areas both gained traction as front-runners, as both already had healthy contingents of Amazon employees working there. Current estimates show that there are about 1,800 people working in advertising, fashion, and publishing in New York and another 2,500 corporate and technical employees in northern Virginia.
Eventually, Amazon decided to choose both locations instead of just one. Experts told The New York Times that by choosing two landing spots, the company will be able to tap into two pools of talented labor. Another added benefit is the ability to gain leverage in negotiating better tax incentives with the two local areas.
“Even if the most obvious reasons appear to be about attracting more tech workers, the PR and government incentives benefits could help, too,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed.