By now, you’ve probably heard that Seattle and surrounding areas did NOT make the final 20 candidates to host the second headquarters for Amazon. And many residents are breathing a sigh of relief.
On Thursday, Amazon released the short list of cities that are still being considered host the online retail giant’s second headquarters, which it’s calling HQ2.
Here’s the list, in alphabetical order:
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Newark, New Jersey
- New York City
- Northern Virginia
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
Finalists were selected from 238 original applicants submitted from locations all across the U.S. While critics say that Amazon’s public bidding process is highly degrading, forcing candidates to endlessly “one up” each other with irresponsible financial incentives, the company’s pledge to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 top wage jobs at HQ2 has kept cities in the competition.
The frenzied initial application process drove officials to pull out all the stops to catch Amazon’s eye. The mayor of Kansas City, Sly James ordered 1,000 items from Amazon (which were then donated to charity) and left a five-star review for each purchase, along with a plug for his city as the perfect HQ2. (notably, Kansas City did not make the final 20.)
Newark promised $7 billion in tax breaks in its bid, justifying the eye-popping figure by estimating that HQ2 could generate $9 billion in economic activity. (Newark did make the final 20).
Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals,” said Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy in a statement. “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough ― all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity.”
“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,” Sullivan added.
The company announced that over the next couple months it will reach out to officials in the 20 cities “to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership.”
Amazon also said it plans to make a final decision for HQ2 sometime in 2018.