Amazon Expected to Announce HQ2 Decision

The e-commerce giant could make it official today, according to reports. Crystal City, Va., and Long Island City, N.Y., are the widely rumored choices for the $5 billion project.
Crystal City, Va.
Crystal City, Va.

Amazon’s year-long search for a location for its upcoming $5 billion second headquarters is reportedly very close to the finish line. After rumors published a week ago that the company was planning to select New York’s Long Island City and Arlington County’s Crystal City for a split HQ2, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday that the tech giant is expected to make a definitive announcement as early as Tuesday. 

The two locations make sense for Amazon. On top of other key factors, the e-commerce giant already has nearly 1,800 employees in New York and about 2,500 across Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. That’s more than any other area except Seattle. Additionally, this would allow the company to benefit from two deep talent pools as it plans to hire as many as 50,000 people in the two cities combined.

Queens is already home to big tech companies, including Google and Facebook, and Manhattan is literally across the East River from burgeoning Long Island City, which is less costly than its neighboring borough, yet offers great transit links. Meanwhile, the larger D.C. metro area has been a pundit favorite during this race for reasons including—but not being limited to—a huge data center market, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ links to the area and readily available office stock. With a presence in Crystal City, which is within 4 miles of the U.S. Capitol, Amazon also has Ronald Reagan Airport in its back yard. 

The competition for HQ2, which Bezos called “a full equal to our Seattle headquarters” in a prepared statement at the time of the announcement, began last September. Amazon vowed to make a decision by the end of this year. Roughly 240 cities and states responded to the call in a race of perks and incentives, many of which have not been disclosed. This January, the Seattle-based company narrowed the list to 20 locations.

Stay tuned for more details.

Image courtesy of Crystal City Business Improvement District