Amazon's 14-month search for a second headquarters outside of Seattle is close to coming to an end, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. However, rather than the original plan, in which one city benefited from the company's new base, reports suggest that Amazon will be creating two new HQs in different states.
The application process, which promised to bring "as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs" to whatever state won the company's approval, has reportedly whittled its long list down to just 20 cities, with smaller locations ruled out in the recent runoff.
The Journal states that the main rationale behind the new approach is to ensure that recruiting enough tech talent is not an issue. As well as this, it could avoid receiving too much blame for strain on local housing and transport if its expansion is split between two regions rather than concentrated in one.
The alleged front-runners in the race sound pretty familiar, given Amazon's need to attract top tech talent. Dallas, the Long Island City neighbourhood of New York and the Crystal City area of northern Virginia are all apparently in contention, according to the Journal's sources. The latter two, the New York Times notes, already have the most Amazon employees outside of Seattle and the Bay Area.
Amazon executives had previously met with Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the Times reports that those familiar with the meeting said that the state had offered hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies in order to tempt the e-commerce giant. "We have a great incentive package," Cuomo later told reporters when asked about the meeting. "I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes, because it would be a great economic boost."
Whether or not it comes to that, Amazon will reportedly be announcing the location (or locations) of its second headquarters in the near future possibly as soon as this week.
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After a false career start producing flash games, Alan Martin has been writing about phones, wearables and internet culture for over a decade with bylines all over the web and print.
Previously Deputy Editor of Alphr, he turned freelance in 2018 and his words can now be found all over the web, on the likes of Tom's Guide, The i, TechRadar, NME, Gizmodo, Coach, T3, The New Statesman and ShortList, as well as in the odd magazine and newspaper.
He's rarely seen not wearing at least one smartwatch, can talk your ear off about political biographies, and is a long-suffering fan of Derby County FC (which, on balance, he'd rather not talk about). He lives in London, right at the bottom of the Northern Line, long after you think it ends.