In a new twist, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has decided two is better than one. The e-commerce behemoth is reportedly planning to pick two locations for its second headquarters.
Multiple news reports say the tech giant is nearing deals to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of New York City and Crystal City in Virginia. It plans to have 25,000 employees based in each city.
The rationale behind this decision, according to a source speaking with the The Wall Street Journal, is that two cities improve the online retailer's access to the best tech talent. Placing the headquarters in two cities also reduces the burden on infrastructure a sudden influx of tens of thousands of workers would cause.
The Journal had earlier reported that the online retailer narrowed down its shortlist of 20 finalists to Crystal City, Dallas and New York City. Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters over a year ago, claiming that the new site would bring as many as 50,000 jobs and more than $5 billion in investments over nearly two decades. It is expected to announce its final decision by the end of the year.
The Journal had earlier said Amazon is negotiating what investment targets it would need to hit to qualify for incentives with government officials in Virginia and talking with JBG Smith Properties (JBGS), a publicly traded real-estate investment trust, about the Crystal City real estate it owns.
The D.C. area has long been a favorite to win the bidding process because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a home there and owns the Washington Post newspaper. Crystal City, which sits just across the Potomac River from the nation's capital, is also a smart choice because it has good access to tech talent and excellent transport links, two factors that rank high on Amazon’s wish list, as well as numerous ready-to-occupy buildings.
Company executives also met with New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio two weeks ago, according to The New York Times. The state has offered the firm "potentially hundreds of millions of dollars" in subsidies, and Cuomo has said it would be a great "economic boost." The de Blasio administration recently committed to spending $180 million to improve Long Island City's infrastructure.