New York City and Arlington, Virginia have reportedly won Amazon’s lengthy and highly publicized pageant for the locations of its new headquarters, beating out 238 other contestants. According to The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, an official announcement may come as early as Tuesday.
The offices will be located in Long Island City, across the East River from Manhattan, and Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, which is a 15-20 minute drive from Washington, D.C.
Last week, more than a year after the Seattle-based company began asking cities to submit proposals for its second headquarters, nicknamed HQ2, reports emerged that Amazon planned to open two new locations, instead of just one, catching candidates off guard. WSJ reported that Amazon decided to split a total of 50,000 employees between two new offices because the company believes it can recruit better candidates that way, while also avoiding the traffic, housing and other potential infrastructure headaches of adding tens of thousands of new employees to one area.
Nonetheless, when it became clear that New York City and Arlington, Virginia were among the top contenders, residents of both areas began to worry about Amazon’s impact on housing costs and commutes, with New Yorkers wondering if the beleaguered New York City subway can handle 25,000 potential new riders. Long Island City community groups have also called on Amazon to pay a “gentrification tax” to help keep local residents from being priced out of their neighborhood by its employees.
As for the other cities that were potential contenders (the 20 finalists included Indianapolis, Denver, Dallas and Nashville), Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, said on Twitter that he believed the work they put into Amazon’s competitive bidding process can be repurposed to build new startup ecosystems.
— Steve Case (@SteveCase) November 13, 2018
TechDap has contacted Amazon for comment.