Amazon May Split HQ2 Between Crystal City, Va., and Long Island City, N.Y.
As leaks and rumors hit a fever pitch, Amazon is reportedly on the brink of announcing the winner(s) of its nationwide urban pageant for the lucky city that will be home to its second U.S. headquarters, nicknamed HQ2.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon plans to split its HQ2 evenly between two of the biggest metropolitan areas on the East Coast: Crystal City, Va., (right across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.) and none other than New York City. The Journal says a decision and announcement could come as soon as this week.
The New York Times overnight corroborated the Journal's story, and added that the New York location will reportedly be in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens just across the river from Manhattan.
Amazon began soliciting proposals for HQ2 in the fall of 2017. In early 2018, it released its list of 20 finalists. Amazon's requirements included a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, close access to an international airport, and "a stable and business-friendly environment" offering "urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent."
Amazon estimates HQ2 will bring more than $5 billion in construction investments and as many as 50,000 jobs to the city amidst decades of ongoing investment in the surrounding community. If this report comes to fruition and HQ2 is indeed split between Crystal City and Long Island City, it remains to be seen how those projections would be distributed and scaled across multiple urban areas.
However, until Amazon officially announces its HQ2 winners, there are reasons for pause. Just yesterday, the Journal reported that Dallas was also still in the mix along with Crystal City and the Big Apple as Amazon's late-stage negotiations progressed with a handful of final cities. That report also said that until recently, cities including Chicago and Miami had also still been in discussions with Amazon.
Crystal City seems to be the surest bet at this point. The Journal story came a day after The Washington Post reported that the Virginia suburb, located smack dab between the Pentagon and Ronald Reagan National Airport, was engaged in advanced planning for HQ2, down to specific buildings and employee moving plans.
This report was seemingly corroborated in a tweet from Mike Grella, Amazon's director of economic development, admonishing the source who leaked the Crystal City negotiations to WaPo.
Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection. You’re not doing Crystal City, VA any favors. And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin. https://t.co/wqrZLqr8MQ— Mike Grella (@MikeGrella) November 3, 2018
Take these rumors with a grain of salt until Amazon makes its official announcement. If it does turn out to be Crystal City and Long Island City, we hope Amazon has a plan for how to deal with all the traffic.