By Derek Kartalian
For the last couple of years, the American electronic commerce giant Amazon has been searching and deciding between locations to build their second headquarters. While the main headquarters is based in Seattle, WA, Amazon has been considering 20 potential locations all over North America as the home for HQ2. This week, the Wall Street Journal released an article supposedly telling of Amazon’s plans. The article claims that Amazon will split the headquarters between two considered locations: Crystal City in Arlington, VA, and Long Island City in Queens, New York.
The source of the information from the WSJ article is not directly from Amazon; however, the claim seems likely as each considered location is actively fighting to be the home for HQ2. Tax breaks, subsidies, and other incentives are being presented to Amazon with hopes of securing the spot, so deciding to split the headquarters between two locations would put Amazon in a position where it could continue to have governments competing to appease them. Additionally, splitting the headquarters could potentially mitigate many of the obstacles that have arisen with deciding on one singular location.
Amazon plans to invest over $5 billion to the construction of its second headquarters, additionally, HQ2 is expected to create and offer around 50,000 jobs. Such a large investment would surely be a good thing for any winning location’s economy, but large adjustments would be necessary to accommodate the influx of people. Both Crystal City and Long Island City are urban neighborhoods within fast-growing cities that are close to large cities: Washington D.C. and New York City respectively. One of the biggest problems already plaguing these metropolitan areas is traffic congestion from the large number of commuters, and the addition of an Amazon headquarters would only exasperate this issue. Not only are there concerns about traffic, but also some people are worried that these locations are already becoming over-developed, and large infrastructure investments from Amazon would be more beneficial to less developed areas.
These recent reports give insight into where HQ2 could potentially end up, but nothing has been released from Amazon yet. It will likely be some time before the official announcement comes, as all of these complications need to be sorted out, and competition between locations will continue until the end.