Update (10:45am ET): This post has been updated to include Amazon’s official announcement about its two new headquarters.
After more than a year, Amazon has completed its search for a second headquarters. The company has announced (paywall) that it’s ending up with two new ones, in New York City and Crystal City, Virginia.
According to Reuters, Amazon is also expected to announce that its East Coast hub of operations will be based in Nashville, Tennessee, where it will add about 5,000 new corporate jobs.
It was just a week ago when the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon planned to split its so-called HQ2 into two sites, believing it would be easier to recruit tech talent. That plan was made official today (Nov. 13), and the company intends to evenly divide 50,000 new jobs between the two cities.
In kicking off Amazon’s high-stakes contest, the tech giant had hundreds of suitors jockeying to win it over with offers of billions in tax breaks and other incentives. In all, there were 238 bids, and the company shortlisted 20 of those cities.
Both Long Island City in New York’s Queens borough and Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia are across major city centers, and were chosen partly because of their public transportation and proximity to airports with direct flights to Amazon’s base in Seattle.
In a radio interview with WNYC last week, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had eliminated a practice of offering direct corporate subsidies, but Amazon would qualify for certain tax benefits in the state.
“I think it’s just a good fit, and that’s what wins the day in the end,” he said, citing the city’s talent pool. “This will in my view consolidate New York City’s role as a technology hub.”
Amazon’s choice of Long Island City coincides with Google’s expansion plans (paywall) in New York City that could accommodate 20,000 staff. The search giant is reportedly nearing an agreement to buy or lease 1.3 million square feet and planning to expand an existing property by about 300,000 square feet. The deals are in addition to its previously announced plan to enlarge another location in the city by 250,000 square feet.