Amazon HQ2 Site Selection

  1. What are your thoughts on Amazon’s site selection process?
  2. What criteria did they use for selecting sites? 
  3. Post stories to the discussion on the Amazon site selection process that you found insightful. 

Amazon HQ2 is a planned new corporate headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, for online retailer and tech company Amazon. The location is intended to complement the company’s existing headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Amazon announced its plans to build a new headquarters in September 2017, saying that it would house 50,000 workers and spend $5 billion on new construction. The corporation also invited governments and economic development organizations to give the corporation tax breaks and other incentives to entice it to their locality. More than 200 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States eventually offered tax breaks, expedited construction approvals, promises of infrastructure improvements, new crime-reduction programs, and other incentives. (Links to an external site.)

A shortlist of 20 finalists was announced January 18, 2018, after which the candidate localities continued to detail or expand their incentive packages. On November 13, 2018, Amazon announced that HQ2 would be split into two locations, with 25,000 workers at each: National Landing, a future neighborhood including Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York City.  Virginia will provide $573 million in tax breaks, $23 million in cash, and other incentives. New York planned to give Amazon tax breaks of at least $1.525 billion, cash grants of $325 million, and other incentives. Amazon later pulled out of the New York location three months later after opposition from some residents and local politicians.