Amazon HQ2 Announced
After a 14-month search, and more than 230 cities vying for Amazon offices, offering everything from tax incentives to naming rights, the company has zeroed in in two locations for new offices: Long Island City, Queens NY and Crystal City, Virginia. Splitting the company’s original 50,000 employee strong headquarters into two satellite offices, each with 25,000 employees.
Amazon outlined 9 key requirements for choosing these locations, including:
Up to 8 million square feet
A highly educated labor pool and strong university system
The ability to travel to/from an airport within 45 minutes
A high quality of life for the 50,000 employees to be located there
A business-friendly environment and tax structure that provides tax breaks and exemptions, fee reductions, workforce grants, and utility incentives, among other incentives.
Elected officials eager and willing to work with the company
After months of closed-door negotiations, Virginal governor Ralph Northam and local elected leaders in the D.C suburb of Arlington announced Amazon would receive $573M in subsidies, along with a $223M investment in transportation improvements. A similar announcement was also made by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, with more than $1.5B in incentives and subsidies to cement the deal. Amazon expects staff levels to rise continuously over the next 12 years to reach the 25,000 employee mark by 2030.