The process of selecting the second corporate headquarters of Amazon has ended, after exploring for a year dozens of alternatives. In reality, there will not be a city that hosts its second world headquarters, but two.
Long Island City, in the New York borough of Queens, and Crystal City, in the suburbs of Washington, north of Virginia, are the places chosen for that second headquarters.
There, thousands of jobs will be created and investments will be made by the e-commerce giant. Jeff Bezos, the founder of the company, has considered that it is better to distribute resources equally between these two locations.
The technology has already made its plans official. They were advanced by The Wall Street Journal and later expanded by various media.
Financial Times also publishes that two sources close to the company have confirmed the election of the two cities. “These two new locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us continue investing in our consumers over the next few years,” Bezos said in a statement.
The company has also taken the opportunity to announce that it will open an operations center for the East Coast of the United States in Nashville (Tennessee). There, the company expects to create about 5,000 new jobs.
The investment of the New York-Washington double project is estimated at 5,000 million dollars and will generate 50,000 jobs. Amazon is growing so fast, that its original headquarters in Seattle has remained literally small.
The shortlist to select a second headquarters included 20 cities out of a total of 238 candidates, including Dallas and Austin (Texas), Newark (New Jersey), Atlanta (Georgia), Denver (Arizona), Chicago (Illinois) and Toronto (Glen). Bezos already said that the final decision would take following his instinct, although they were going to analyze a mass of data to sustain it.
The corporate headquarters of Amazon in Seattle became during the last two decades in the social epicenter of the city. There he employs about 40,000 people.
The same thing is expected with the two new locations. The one in New York will be very close to the new technological campus of Cornell University, which opened last year on Roosevelt Island. Manhattan is just across the Queensboro Bridge and there is access to multiple subway lines.
Crystal City, on the other hand, is a neighborhood that is part of Arlington. It is a residential and business area, strategically located to the south of the capital of the United States. Amazon has several server farms in northern Virginia, which feed its huge data management infrastructure, and is competing for an estimated $ 10 billion Defense Department contract.
Google is also taking steps to duplicate its workforce in New York, The Mountain View technology is currently based in the Chelsea neighborhood.
There he also bought the iconic Oreo cookie building for 2,400 million euros and in March he announced the rental of jetty 57, right next door. He is now negotiating to acquire another office space in a new building in the West Village, on the property known as St. Jones Terminal.
The Alphabet subsidiary will have about 20,000 employees on the island of Manhattan when the project is completed in 2020, which will bring it closer to the Amazon template in its future New York headquarters. These maneuvers confirm the interest of these companies to be present in other large cities where they can find the talent they need to continue innovating.
These corporations are taking advantage of the interest of local leaders to attract them, who offer them generous incentives despite their accounts overflowing with cash.
The battle between the cities that bid to host Amazon was fierce. The frenzy went so far that the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, even said during the election campaign that he is willing to change his name to Amazon Cuomo if he could convince Jeff Bezos.
Finally, the State of New York will give Amazon a tax credit of up to 1.2 billion dollars that will be disbursed according to the jobs created, as well as other discounts for the space of its facilities.
The State of Virginia, which is the city of Arlington will also be rewarded with up to $ 22,000 (19,493 euros) each job and even the State of Tennessee, where the smaller center of the three will go, will subsidize $ 13,000 each new post work in Nashville for the next seven years, among other tax incentives.
Politicians see technology as an opportunity to strengthen the local economy with highly qualified and highly paid employees. The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, bet strongly for the development of the technology industry in the city.
Joe Parrilla, an urban development expert at Brookings Institutions, warns that this prosperity boom can raise inequality, accelerate gentrification and harm the most vulnerable neighbors.
Long Island City is already the fastest growing neighborhood in the New York metropolitan area, where new skyscrapers have been erected over the last decade.
The fact that Amazon chooses to split its bet into two venues could limit the negative impact of its landing in the city, or, at least, better control its power. Therefore, it considers that in these cases the authorities must establish mechanisms that allow companies to connect with local communities.