What to Know
Amazon opened the search for a 2nd headquarters in Sept, promising to spend more than $5 billion on whatever site it chooses in N. America
It gave few hints about where it would land, but did say it was looking at metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million
The announcement created a scramble among cities vying to make the short list; there are now 20 finalists, NYC + Newark among them
Amazon has narrowed its list of cities to call home to its second North America headquarters to 20, and New York City and Newark, New Jersey, are among the finalists, the online retail giant announced in a statement Thursday.
The company said it reviewed 238 proposals from across the United States, Canada and Mexico to host its new multibillion-dollar headquarters, a project it says is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding market.
Amazon has already pledged to invest more than $5 billion in its new digs and grow it to accommodate as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. And its September announcement about its headquarters search caused a mass scramble from states and cities desperate to be in the running.
All of the 20 contenders are major metropolitan areas. Aside from New York and Newark, they include Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Austin, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Toronto, Miami, Maryland's Montgomery County, Virginia's Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Connecticut had submitted five bids -- Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Danbury and a joint bid for New Haven and Bridgeport -- but lost out completely.
Amazon said it expects to make a final decision in 2018. In the coming months, it said it would work with each of the candidate locations "to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community."
New York City has expressed keen interest in having the online retail giant's new multibillion-dollar headquarters from the outset, soliciting ideas for possible locations for a pitch just weeks after Amazon announced it was searching for a new home. The company gave few hints about where it would land at that time, but did say it was looking at metro areas with populations of more than a million that have potential to attract top tech talent.
New York City says its selling points include a huge, growing and educated workforce, diverse economy with strong tech focus, university system, vibrant tourism industry and large multi-lingual labor force. The city is an innovation leader, home to new businesses, big and small, and research and development opportunities, it says, all key factors in Amazon's consideration.
For Newark's part, it has spent the better part of the last decade undergoing a major revitalization of its downtown area that has lured new tenants including the Prudential Center, now a major concert venue and home to the Devils.
Neither city has elaborated on the specific locations it pitched to Amazon.
Amazon does have corporate office space in midtown and last year announced plans to build its first fulfillment center in New York, but a headquarters in New York City would be a whole different animal. Amazon has said it would be similar to its Seattle campus; it estimates its investments there added $38 billion to the city's economy over a six-year period.