REPORT: Amazon Is Splitting HQ2 Between 2 East Coast Cities
As Amazon's decision on its second headquarters looms, the tech giant reportedly plans to divide the massive campus meant to support 50,000 high-paid tech employees in two.
CEO Jeff Bezos is planning on selecting two cities as winners in the competition to land Amazon HQ2, splitting the company's footprint in each city in half, the Wall Street Journal reports. Citing anonymous sources, the WSJ said the decision was driven mainly by concerns regarding available tech talent.
Amazon is close to settling on Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, for the two campuses, the New York Times reports. The WSJ reported Sunday Dallas was also in late-stage negotiations with the e-commerce giant.
With 25,000 employees dispersed across two cities, Amazon figures that the potentially cataclysmic effects on a city's housing market and transit network would be mitigated by splitting HQ2, the WSJ reports. The WSJ reported Sunday that Virginia, Dallas and New York were all engaged in negotiations.
Monday's latest revelation amounts to a geyser of speculation regarding HQ2 after months of radio silence, indicating that a final decision could be imminent.
In those silent months, officials at Amazon had visited some cities, including New York, multiple times. The company also requested a massive amount of data from each of the 20 cities on its shortlist, of which some — like Atlanta, Nashville and Denver — have fallen out of the running, the WSJ reports.
Long Island City and Crystal City both have locations just over the river from the heart of their respective metropolises. In Dallas, developer KDC's recent purchase of an office complex that formerly housed the Dallas Morning News included Amazon-specific contingencies in its agreement, which the WSJ noted as a possible hint of Amazon's intentions there.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Amazon executives two weeks ago, the Times reported.
“I am doing everything I can,” Cuomo told reporters Monday in response to questions about New York’s attempts to land HQ2, according to the Times. “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes.”
While Northern Virginia has long been considered a favorite for Amazon HQ2, many have suggested New York City’s high costs would mean the city is not in the running. However, others said the talent pool would be a strong draw card.
Notably, none of New York, Arlington or Dallas made their tax incentive packages public, while other shortlist competitors like Newark, New Jersey, and Montgomery County have publicized packages worth $7B or more.
Miriam Hall contributed to this story.
UPDATE, NOV. 5, 9:45 P.M. ET: This story has been updated with the latest information.