Amazon releases shortlist of locations for second headquarters

New York City officials pledged to woo Amazon’s second headquarters, and they delivered — at least enough to land on the e-retailer’s shortlist.

After reviewing 238 proposals from across North America, Amazon released a list of 20 areas, where it would consider locating its next headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Amazon said it anticipates requesting additional information from the finalists and making a decision in 2018.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was pleased the city had been named one of 20 finalists this Thursday.

“We’re excited to be one step closer to landing the 50,000 good-paying jobs in Amazon’s HQ2. No city in the world has the talent New York City can offer!” de Blasio tweeted.

The city Economic Development Corporation said the city has been proactively planning so that it is ready to take Amazon officials on tours of potential development sites and the surrounding neighborhoods, if need be. The city has also worked to convene a group of academic institutions and tech training partners, which is ready to work with Amazon on specific training needs.

The city formally submitted proposals for HQ2 in mid-October, asking Amazon to consider sites in Midtown West, lower Manhattan, Long Island City and along the north Brooklyn waterfront. In its pitch, the city touted its tech industry and talent pool, competitive labor costs, transit system and diversity.

Amazon plans to spend $5 billion on HQ2, where it could base up to 50,000 employees earning an average annual salary of more than $100,000. If the city succeeds in landing the deal, Amazon would become the largest private employer in the five boroughs, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Although the state offered incentives to any qualified metro area submitting proposals to Amazon, the city has said it did not plan to offer any additional benefits it has discretion over.

By comparison, New Jersey officials have offered up to $7 billion in tax breaks if Amazon relocated to Newark, another finalist.

Other areas on the shortlist include: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville, Tenn.; Northern Virginia, Va.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto; and Washington, D.C.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, an Amazon public policy executive, said in a statement. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”