Amazon HQ2 Bill Is In: Cities Promise $2.2 Billion


Jordan Stead / Amazon has made its second headquarters official. The company will split the new office between New York City and the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

The New York office will be in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, while the D.C.-area outpost will be in Arlington, Va. The combined new headquarters will be home to 50,000 employees with an average wage of $150,000.

The terms are generally in line with reports over the last week from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon (AMZN) also announced that it will be building a new operations center in Nashville, Tenn., with 5,000 jobs.

The deals involves some $2.2 billion worth of direct incentives for Amazon--$1.525 billion in New York, $573 million in Virginia, and $102 million in Tennessee, according to the company.

The split decision, rumored since last week, would end a year-long quest that started with 238 candidates and was eventually winnowed to 20 finalists. The imminent announcement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal late Monday, citing people familiar with the situation.

The placement of some 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investments near Washington, D.C., and New York City, effectively gives Amazon headquarters in three major cities. The company's primary corporate office is based in Seattle.

The e-commerce giant, which dubbed the new office project HQ2, has spent most of this year visiting cities to hear their economic development pitches. But the manner in which Amazon chose the HQ2 sites, and the lavish subsidies it could land, has riled some observers.

Interestingly, the HQ2 term was not used in the company's press release on Tuesday, perhaps an acknowledgment of its decision to actually split the project between two cities.

The decision to open a second headquarters coincided with a vow by the company to hire thousands more nationwide as it builds more warehouses, and to raise its minimum wage for warehouse employees to $15 an hour.

In recent weeks, evidence mounted that Amazon was prepared to expand in Northern Virginia.

The company recently located a new headquarters for its cloud service, Amazon Web Services, and a 600,000-square-foot data center campus in the same area.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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