The process of selecting the second corporate headquarters of Amazon has ended, after exploring for a year dozens of alternatives. In fact, there will not be a city that will host its world headquarters, but two: Long Island City, in the New York borough of Queens, and Crystal City, in the suburbs of Washington in northern Virginia, will be the places chosen for that second headquarters. , which will benefit from thousands of jobs and investments by the e-commerce giant. Jeff Bezos, founder of the company, has considered that it is better to distribute resources equally between these two locations.
The technology has not yet made its plans official, which is expected to announce today, but they were advanced by The Wall Street Journal and expanded later by various means. The Financial Times also assures that two sources close to the company have confirmed the election of the two cities.
The investment of the double project is estimated at 5,000 million dollars and will generate 50,000 employees. Amazon is growing so fast, that its original seat in Seattle was literally small. The short list to select a second headquarters included 20 cities from a total of 238 applications, which included Dallas and Austin (Texas), Newark (New Jersey), Atlanta (Georgia), Denver (Arizona), Chicago (Illinois) and Toronto (Canada). Bezos already said that the final decision would take following his instinct, although they were going to analyze a mass of data to sustain it.
New York and Virginia
The corporate headquarters of Amazon in Seattle became during the last two decades in the social epicenter in the city. There he employs 40,000 people. The same thing is expected with the two new locations. The one in New York will be very close to the new technological campus of Cornell University, which opened last year on Roosevelt Island. Manhattan is just across the Queensboro Bridge and there is access to multiple subway lines.
Crystal City, on the other hand, is a neighborhood that is part of Arlington. It is a residential and business area, strategically located to the south of the capital of the United States. Amazon has several server farms in northern Virginia, which feed its huge data management infrastructure, and is competing for an estimated $ 10 billion Defense Department contract.
Google is also taking steps to duplicate its employees in New York. The Mountain View technology is currently based in the Chelsea neighborhood. There, he also just bought the iconic Oreo cookie building for 2.4 billion dollars and in March he announced the rental of jetty 57, right next door. He is now negotiating to acquire another office space in a new building in the West Village, on the property known as St. Jones Terminal.
The Alphabet subsidiary will have about 20,000 employees on the island of Manhattan when the project is completed in 2020, which will bring it closer to the Amazon template in its future New York headquarters. These maneuvers confirm the interest of these companies to be present in other large cities where they can find the talent they need to continue innovating.
These corporations are taking advantage of the interest of local leaders to attract them, who offer them generous incentives despite their accounts overflowing with cash. The battle between the cities that bid to host Amazon was fierce. The frenzy reached the point that the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, even said during the election campaign that he is willing to change his name to Amazon Cuomo if he managed to convince Jeff Bezos.
Politicians see it as an opportunity to strengthen the local economy, with highly qualified and highly paid employees. Mayor Michael Bloomberg bet strongly with the development of the technology industry in the city. Joe Parrilla, an urban development expert at Brookings Institutions, warns that this boom in prosperity can raise disparity, accelerate gentrification and harm the most vulnerable neighbors.
Long Island City is already the fastest growing neighborhood in the New York metropolitan area, where new skyscrapers have risen during the last decades. The fact that Amazon opts for two venues could limit the negative impact of its landing in the city or at least better control its power. That is why it considers that in these cases, the authorities should establish a mechanism that will allow companies to connect with local communities.