Amazon is closer to choosing the location of its next headquarters after completing the process of visiting all 20 finalist cities.
Last year, the eCommerce giant issued a request for proposals (RFP) from local and state government officials as it looks to open its second headquarters (HQ2) in the U.S.
Amazon said it will invest more than $5 billion in the “construction and operation of Amazon HQ2,” and that the headquarters will be home to as many as 50,0000 high-paying Amazon jobs. The company also reported it intends to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in investments in the surrounding community.
More than 230 cities applied, and in January, Amazon announced the 20 finalists: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, Maryland, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington, DC.
But no matter who the company picks, several of the finalists say they’ve already seen the benefits of simply getting onto Amazon’s final list, according to NBC News.
Newark, Philadelphia and Austin all reported a boost in economic development inquiries since the list was released in January.
“We’re seeing this halo effect, and we’re excited,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “It has provided renewed interest in the city of Newark. Our city is changing, and this buzz has helped change the perception.”
And in Philadelphia, officials have seen a noticeable increase in inquiries from businesses looking to open new offices.
“Since the HQ2 bid, we have experienced a number of companies who reference the Amazon pitch as a catalyst for their interest in Philadelphia as a location for business operations,” said Lauren Cox from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. “One London company, which had Philadelphia on its short list last fall, already began its move to the city in January.”