Chicago makes Amazon's finalist list for second headquarters

Amazon HQ2 bid Toronto

Potential sites for Amazon's HQ2 image via Amazon

Amazon has narrowed down their search to 20 finalists: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Nashville, Columbus, Boston, New York City, Newark (New Jersey), Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Northern Virginia, Atlanta, Miami, Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, Toronto and Montgomery County, Maryland.

The online retailer said Thursday that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places like Boston and NY.

Seattle-based Amazon solicited proposals in September for its second corporate seat, a project that's expected to cost more than $5 billion (roughly Rs. 32,000 crores) and create 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

Holly Sullivan, who manages Amazon public policy, thanked the more than 200 applicants in a news release Thursday, saying "all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity".

Seattle-based Amazon has more than 540,000 employees worldwide. The majority of the 20 remaining locations are large East Coast cities, and the ones around KC's size like have major urban universities, which is very important to the tech industry.

It's worth noting that the only non-U.S. city finalist is Toronto, a city that reportedly isn't offering outrageous subsidies to seduce Amazon. And if you rent instead of own, you'd pay more there too. "Their proposals may have simply fallen short".

Many cities have been tight-lipped about the proposals they made to woo the online retailer.

Amazon HQ2 bid Toronto
Downtown Toronto image by Forum contributor DB13

For instance, when it comes to quality of life, Austin frequently appears on lists related to best places to live. But one major downside is traffic congestion.

In the next phase, Amazon representatives will communicate more directly with finalist cities as they prepare to select a victor later this year. And where would these new employees live? Amazon made some surprise decisions in their list, Washington, D.C. suburb, Montgomery County made the list.

A key consideration is that the city has enough tech talent to fill thousands of jobs.

Amazon plans to invest five-billion dollars into it's second headquarters city once they evaluate how practical a partnership would be with each city and its surrounding infrastructure.

There are, in short, a number of pluses and few minuses for this headquarters, and it must be hoped in the coming weeks that Amazon agrees.

The region's he said makes North Texas very attractive to companies. Tucson, Arizona sent a giant cactus to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James gave five-star reviews to 1,000 random items on Amazon's website - tying the city's strengths into each post. "This is a considerable boost for Vallejo, one we may not have had without the Amazon opportunity as an objective to pursue".

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