Amazon Splits HQ2

Commentary by Taylor W. Henderson 3 Properties’ graphic design & media manager. 

Amazon’s Expansion

Almost as exciting as 3 Properties giving away a $333 Amazon gift card to one lucky email subscriber (hint, hint – subscribe here), Amazon has just announced the final decision for the location(s) of the widely anticipated HQ2.

The suspense has been palpable. Various cities have been vying to be the chosen location for Amazon’s second hub, each city flashing dazzling smiles and their best evening wear like contestants in the Miss America pageant. With Amazon being the 2nd most-valuable company in the United States, it’s easy to see why so much effort was spent attempting to woo the company their way.

Suddenly reports sprang up of semi-romantic gestures from hopeful contestants. For example,  Tucson, Arizona sent a 21-foot saguaro cactus to the tech giant & New York City lit several landmark buildings in “Amazon orange.” Not impressed? Stonecrest, Georgia even offered to rename a part of itself Amazon, Georgia, according to this CNET report. States & elected officials bargained with tax incentives, certainly less romantic but then again, we all have different love languages.

 

 

The competition was stiff, but like any prestigious pageant, there were always front-runners out of the original 230+ candidates. It was announced that in the end, after a year of large-scale courting, Amazon chose Long Island City, Queens and Crystal City.

Many were not surprised by the announcement, due to the consistent buzz around these early favorites. Many factors played a role in the decision, in this article by The Wall Street Journal, both New York and Virginia have larger tech labor forces and higher concentrations of tech degrees than most of the country.

Amazon will split HQ2’s planned $5 billion price tag and 50,000 new jobs equally between the two cities. In return, the smiling retail giant could receive more than $2billion in tax incentives across both locations, NYT explains here. If the number of jobs created ends up lower than projected, that amount will change.

Amazon is expanding not just physically, but in the past year, we have seen huge industry extensions with moves into sports & entertainment, health care, groceries and even brick-and-mortar stores. While we are all watching amazon’s growth and its effects, these two cities are about to have a front-row seat, in the splash zone.