Due to pressure from local residents and politicians in the Long Island City section of Queens in New York City, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has started to consider moving to another location for its “second headquarters.” It already has split this headquarters location with Northern Virginia, another of the 20 finalists in the race to get the Amazon location. Amazon has 18 other places it may go based on these original target locations.
The two primary objections of people who are against Amazon’s New York City plans are from those who are against the tax cuts America’s largest e-commerce company got in exchange for its decision. Several politicians have put this sum at over $3 billion. Residents are more concerned about what will happen to the cost of homes and rentals if Amazon hires 25,000 people to work at the facility.
If Amazon walks away, New York would risk losing a boost to the city’s economy both via jobs and new construction. The Amazon HQ2, as the location is called, has the support of both Mayor de Blasio and New York Governor Cuomo. They each argue that Amazon eventually will pay taxes and that workers hired by the company will pay them immediately. This is also the case for people who will get jobs that support Amazon’s efforts, which run from construction workers to restaurant employees.
Since Amazon carefully vetted the 20 cities that were finalists in the HQ2 race, and Northern Virginia has taken one spot, the 18 remaining finalist locations on the list presumably already have been through some level of negotiations to win. And, presumably, all have met Amazon’s major criteria, having hit almost all the benchmarks Amazon put in the request for proposal delivered to every city that went through the original bid process.
Among the criteria were that the location targets had to be:
- Metropolitan areas with more than a million people
- Stable and business-friendly environments
- Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
- Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
Amazon also staked out locations with existing buildings for its new workers or locations were appropriate facilities could be built. And it said the targets had to offer tax incentives, an existing labor force that could fill most jobs, a robust infrastructure and a location near a major airport. Long Island City and Northern Virginia had all these.
These are the 18 other locations on the Amazon finalist list that would be the likely alternatives if it abandons Long Island City:
- Austin, Texas
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Washington, D.C.