Amazon Says 238 Places Want to Host Its New Headquarters

By Laura Stevens Features Dow Jones Newswires

Amazon.com Inc. said Monday it received 238 proposals from cities and regions across North America to host its second headquarters, a sign of the intense competition to host the $5 billion project.

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The proposals came from 54 states, provinces, district and territories. Amazon, now based in Seattle, didn't name any of the bidders or say when it would come up with a short list for its potential picks.

Cities including New York, Boston, Atlanta, Nashville and Austin, Texas, have said they applied for the new corporate site, which is expected to generate 50,000 high-paying jobs over nearly 20 years.

The proposals were due last week, and Amazon has said it would make a decision on the new location next year.

Amazon has said it would consider factors such as the availability of software developers and other tech talent, good transportation options, cultural fit and the ability to move into a phase-one site as early as 2019. Other items on its wish list: a metro area of more than one million people and tax incentives.

Some cities and states are proposing big incentives. Newark. N.J., last week said it would offer a potential package of $7 billion over a decade.

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Still, it is unclear where Amazon might land. "I don't think any one market fits everything. It's going to be a balancing act of the various attributes," says Dave Bragg, a managing director at Green Street Advisors, which conducts real-estate research.

Amazon has increased its workforce from a few thousand to more than 40,000 over the past decade. And it is still planning to add 2 million square feet and 6,000 people in the next 12 months.

But to keep growing, the company needs more space. Amazon has said that it will give its team leaders a choice between staying in Seattle, relocating or being based out of both. It has said that the average pay for the new jobs will be around $100,000, depending on where it locates.

Opening a second, equal headquarters is believed by management experts to be an unprecedented move by an American corporation, and it presents unique cultural challenges for the company.

While Amazon continues to grow in Seattle, experts say it would be difficult for the company to essentially double its footprint there. In addition, hiring thousands more software developers will almost certainly be cheaper and easier in a different city, they say.

Write to Laura Stevens at laura.stevens@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 23, 2017 12:06 ET (16:06 GMT)