The finalists are in, and Amazon has chosen its list of the 20 cities still in the running to be the home of its second headquarters (HQ2), according to Bloomberg reports. Austin, Boston, New York and D.C. all made the cut, as did some surprises like Columbus, Ohio.
Amazon first solicited proposals for its new HQ2 in September 2017. Total project costs are expected to be in the $5 billion range and are forecast to create approximately 50,000 jobs for the chosen locality. Politicians across the U.S. and Canada have all rather eagerly queued up to express interest, and a total of 238 locations sent in pitches for consideration.
But only one can be selected, and the top 20 from which the elect will be chosen include:
Los Angeles, California
Montgomery County, Maryland
Newark, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Northern Virginia, Virginia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Amazon’s preferences for its HQ2 site specify a metropolitan location, a local population exceeding 1 million people, access to a solid mass transit system, a major airport nearby and a strong enough local economy to attract and retain talented workers.
“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, head of worldwide economic development for Amazon Public Policy, in a company statement. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”
According to Bloomberg, HQ2’s chosen location will see a large impact from the eCommerce giant’s presence. When Amazon came to Seattle, Washington, it changed the region through a boom in development to keep up with growth in employees and higher rent prices. Higher paying technology-focused employment positions mean higher demand for higher-priced homes and retail, too — and also potential changes in the political standings of whomever green lights an Amazon deal.