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Amazon Has Shortlisted 20 Cities to be the Second Headquarters (HQ2)

Amazon Has Shortlisted 20 Cities to be the Second Headquarters (HQ2)

Amazon narrowed its search for a second headquarters city Thursday to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. Cities are in fierce competition to lure Amazon, and the company said a year ago that it received 238 proposals. Major metro areas - including Los Angeles, Washington D.C., NY and Atlanta dominated the finalists for the planned expansion of the Seattle-based internet retailing firm.

Detroit didn't make the cut and Indianapolis did, but the list was largely as expected and included nearly all of the prior favorites, including Atlanta, Austin, and Boston. Also making the cut were northern Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland, and Toronto - the only non-U.S. city. Amazon expects to make a final decision sometime in 2018.

Orlando lacks the kind of iconic higher-education institution that many cities on the short list have, said Owen Beitsch, an adjunct professor who teaches real estate development at University of Central Florida. Because of the Amazon application and the recent City of Vallejo marketing done in support of the ChooseVallejo.com website, the city has received numerous inquiries by businesses seeking to locate in Vallejo that may translate into economic wins.

Other cities like Dayton and tiny Stonecrest, Ga. - which offered to change its name to Amazon, Ga. - touted their cities to anyone who would listen, the mayor said.

Jon Barela, CEO of the Borderplex Alliance; Davin Lopez, CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance; and Jerry Pacheco, president of the Border Industrial Association, said their respective Amazon proposals brought worldwide attention to this region that could help in recruiting companies to the area in the future.

Amazon said in its announcement that it will take a deeper dive into the remaining cities' proposals and likely request more information.

Kansas City's not going to be the home of Amazon's second headquarters, but city leaders are going to use the experience to improve their next proposal for another tech giant.




A town outside Atlanta said it would let the company take some of its land and create a new city named Amazon, for example.

"Today we are announcing the communities that will proceed to the nest step in the HQ2 process".

Amazon is deciding where to build "HQ2", an up to 8-million square foot facility it says could produce 50,000 jobs.

Such viral marketing stunts, combined with the very public promotion of the contest by Amazon, make the whole thing seem like a dystopian reality TV show, where cities gamble taxpayers' money in the hope that this global corporate Midas will grace them with its presence. Before he left office Tuesday, Republican Gov. Chris Christie approved a measure to allow New Jersey to offer up to $5 billion to Amazon. Several say they don't want their competitors to know what they're offering, a stance that open-government advocates criticized.

Philadelphia has made it on the next round in the coveted battle to become the home to Amazon's second North American headquarters.

More: Could Amazon HQ No. 2 come to Sioux Falls?

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