Business

Amazon close to agreements for HQ2

New York, northern Virginia both would land headquarters

Seattle Times/TNS

The Space Needle is reflected in an Amazon building in Seattle.
Seattle Times/TNS The Space Needle is reflected in an Amazon building in Seattle.

Amazon.com’s yearlong search for a second headquarters is nearing an end, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The e-commerce giant is close to agreements that would split the new headquarters between two locales, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public matters.

One will be the Crystal City area of Arlington, in northern Virginia, two people said. Another will be Long Island City, in the New York borough of Queens, other people said.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.

Amazon last year announced plans to invest $5 billion in a second headquarters and hire as many as 50,000 people, setting off a frenzy of interest from cities in the United States and Canada.

It has announced 20 finalists and is scheduled to make a final decision by the end of the year.

The New York Times earlier reported that Amazon was near a deal to pick Long Island City, and the Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Amazon will choose two locations after deciding that one location lacked sufficient technology talent.

The Washington Post previously had reported that Amazon was in advanced talks to locate its second headquarters in Crystal City, which is across the Potomac River from Washington,D.C.

The neighborhood features a concentration of high rise offices, hotels and residential buildings.

Amazon has fueled an economic boom in its hometown of Seattle, where it often also is blamed for traffic problems and skyrocketing housing costs that squeeze some residents out of the city.

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By choosing more than a single location, it may be seeking to avoid criticism that its arrival will burden local infrastructure.

“You could look to Seattle and see that it’s had great positive consequences, but it also probably has had some unintended ones that maybe aren’t as well received,” SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. real-estate analyst Michael Lewis said.

“You can see what it’s done to the cost of living in Seattle.”

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