Sources close to Amazon Inc. say the company has plans to maintain a second headquarters that will be split between two U.S. cities. The present plans are the latest development in a year-long competition for cities to host the new headquarters.
The cities that are still being considered are Long Island, Dallas, Washington D.C., and Arlington. The sources say Amazon is presently involved in further talks with each of these jurisdictions. One source, who wished to remain anonymous, would not say if either of the cities was favored over the others at this time.
Amazon was asked by the Wall Street Journal to comment. The company declined the opportunity to do so.
The bidding frenzy began in September of 2017. At this time, Amazon announced plans to spend $5 billion to build ‘HQ2.’ The company also announced plans to hire half a million people.
The main reason for the new headquarters is that Amazon is seeking to hire more of the top talent that is available. The company, which has satellite companies in locations throughout the world, feels that offering a new headquarters in two locations will give them a leg up on competitors for this talent. One competitor that has been identified is Google. Amazon competes with Google and other competitors in areas like cloud technology.
Alex Snyder, an industry analyst, says that Amazon is considering cities that will not have the competition for talent that exists in cities like Seattle and San Francisco.
The HQ2 additions are also expected to ease the problems the company experiences in Seattle. A crisis with affordable housing in the city resulted in the Seattle city council levying additional taxes on businesses in the city. Amazon supported a successful movement to have the taxes reversed in a later city council vote.
It is not clear what incentive packages cities in the final round are offering. However, earlier in the process the state of New Jersey offered $7 billion in state and local tax credits to Amazon contingent upon the company choosing Newark as the location of the new headquarters.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said that his state has a great incentive package in place for Amazon. The governor joked while doing a radio intrerview that he will change his name to Amazon Cuomo if that would secure the agreement with the world’s largest online retailer.