It was a year-long competition that garnered interest from hundreds of cities and states across the country. But now Amazon has reportedly chosen both New York City and Northern Virginia to split the role of the company’s second headquarters.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Amazon has picked New York’s Long Island City and Arlington County’s Crystal City neighborhoods, citing people familiar with the contest.
Amazon has declined to comment to CNN.
The development of these headquarters could be announced as soon as Tuesday. It promises to bring the cities a massive increase of jobs and tax revenue. And it is almost certain to draw fire from critics concerned about their impact on infrastructure and property values.
The search for the new headquarters began in September of 2017 when the Seattle based company indicated it would start accepting proposals for what quickly became known as HQ2.
Amazon outlined the criteria for its second headquarters including proximity to a major airport and the ability to attract technical talent. It also wanted a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people and access to mass transit.
The company said the new facility would create as many as 50,000 jobs and cost at least $5 billion to build and operate.
The contest sent cities into a feeding frenzy, with some making huge moves to gain Amazon’s attention. Kansas City Mayor Sly James wrote five-star reviews for 1,000 random items on Amazon’s website; Tucson sent Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a giant cactus; and Stonecrest, Georgia, offered to rename some of its land “the city of Amazon.”
All in all, Amazon received 238 proposals for HQ2, including 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. It eventually whittled those bids down to 20 finalists, including Austin, Boston, Nashville, Miami and Philadelphia.
Company executives traveled to all 20 locations to tour real estate sites and meet with local business leaders. But last week a new twist emerged. The Journal and other news organizations reported that Amazon planned to divide HQ2 between two places, including the jobs and investment that come with it.