After much speculation and a national process with local and state politicians from dozens of cities, Amazon has officially decided to split “HQ2” between New York City and Northern Virginia. Amazon says it plans to create 25,000 new positions in each New York and Arlington. In addition, Amazon said it will put a new “Center for Excellence” for its Operations business in Nashville, Tennessee, creating 5,000 new positions there.
In choosing New York, Amazon is locating in America’s media, advertising, and finance epicenter. In choosing Washington, Amazon is locating in America’s government, politics, and defense epicenter. Advertising and national security represent two of the larger growth opportunities for Amazon over the coming decade or two.
Amazon chose not to locate in a variety of other cities it seriously engaged with and received data from, including many mid-size cities in which Amazon could wield a more dominant influence as the “biggest company in town.” Amazon is receiving significant economic incentives from the areas it chose, but in our view, this decision was more about Amazon wanting to be closer to areas of strategic priority and their related talent markets in the coming year than it was about tax breaks.
Amazon has over 610,000 employees worldwide and 250,000 in North America. It has thousands of positions open in its global headquarters in Seattle. Amazon’s agreement with New York City can be found here; its agreements with Arlington, Virginia can be found here and here; its agreements with Nashville, Tennessee can be found here and here.
Amazon’s “HQ2” in New York City is in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens
Amazon’s “HQ2” in Northern Virginia is in National Landing in Arlington
Amazon’s “Operations Center of Excellence” is north of the Gulch in downtown Nashville