Amazon, one of the biggest tech companies in the world, wants to build new headquarters. The e-commerce giant is looking for a second city to base its operations after Seattle. A number of cities have been in the running and Amazon has shortlisted 20 on its final list. The cities are all in the US and Canada.
Some of the surprise picks in the list were Boston, Nashville, and Columbus. Other cities such as Dallas and Denver were always in the running and are still favorites to get the final node. The winning city will get many benefits. This is not just a matter of prestige but also a very important decision in an economic point of view. It is estimated that the city that gets to host Amazon’s new headquarters will get at least 50,000 new high paying jobs. There will also be an influx of investments totaling to about $5 billion.
Shortlisting 20 cities hasn’t been easy for the e-commerce giant. There were about 238 applications from various cities. Many actually tried to make it easier for Amazon to decide by offering the company tax incentives to favor their applications. The final shortlist contains a mix of cities though. Cities like Newark have been struggling with their local economies and this would be a great boost if indeed they would be chosen. Others like New York and Los Angeles are already robust business cities and if they get the node, it will only be yet another testament that indeed these are the go-to cities for tech companies in North America.
Most of the cities are in the US. We have seen Chicago, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Montgomery County, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh all competing with one another. However, there is one city outside the US and that is Toronto. Once the shortlist was out it was met with jubilation by officials in the selected cities. Many took this moment to thank Amazon for the confidence shown so far and to remind the e-commerce giant just why they should be picked for the headquarters.
The Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, for instance, said that it was great to see the city in the final shortlist of 20 adding that the investment from Amazon would have a huge impact on the city’s social and economic life.
Amazon started searching for a second headquarter in September last year. The company had a number of attributes it was looking for. It appears that the 20 listed cities fit perfectly into the profile needed. Amazon was looking for cities with a metropolitan area and a population of more than 1 million people. The e-commerce giant was also keen to pick cities that have the ability to attract and keep talent.
Nonetheless, the selection process was relatively secretive and we don’t expect this to change. The current Amazon headquarters in Seattle is no longer enough for the fast-growing company. The 20 cities chosen will definitely be looking forward to becoming Amazon’s second home. But there were a few high profile snubs too including San Diego, Detroit, and Phoenix.