Amazon Revisits Cities As HQ2 Decision Nears
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Executives from the e-commerce titan have made recent follow-up visits to Chicago, New York and Newark, New Jersey, to aid in the Amazon HQ2 search, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon also has had further contact with officials from Miami, Washington, D.C., and other cities, anonymous sources told the WSJ, while clarifying that the lack of a second visit was not disqualifying.
Amazon has been going into astounding detail with its searches, WSJ sources said, walking neighborhoods surrounding proposed sites. In New York, the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City was reportedly of particular interest to Amazon, as it is the closest Queens neighborhood to Manhattan and has been rapidly attracting development and young professionals in recent years.
Amazon listed dozens of criteria on which it would decide the location of HQ2 in its initial request for proposals, but has kept mum on which details were most important. WSJ sources said that the company is focusing on urban areas, rather than the vast swaths of suburban land that some markets have offered for a campus.
Wherever Amazon chooses for its second home, property values and investment are sure to grow, and some have not been content to wait for an announcement. MCR recently opened a Courtyard by Marriott hotel by Dulles International Airport, across the street from one of the parcels put forth by Northern Virginia, with the stated purpose of accommodating Amazon visitors.
Others like CityBldr CEO Bryan Copley are making preparations to jump in with both feet when Amazon finally announces its decision (which Bezos still claims will come by the end of the year). The company, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to find clusters of single-family homes zoned for multifamily and sell them for higher prices, plans to open a third office in the same city as Amazon's HQ2.
The company has already starting raising funds and doing market research for its future move. Yet Copley has also been spending ahead of the announcement, having bought multiple shares of JBG Smith, according to the WSJ. JBG Smith's holdings in Montgomery County have caused its shares to spike in recent months, reportedly due to Amazon speculation.