Amazon picks NYC, Northern Virginia as added headquarters

Amazon has made its choices.

New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for the ecommerce giant’s second and third headquarters, the e-commerce giant said Tuesday.

The announcement ends a yearlong contest that started with 238 candidates and ended with a surprise split of what is referred to as HQ2.  The second headquarters will be split evenly between Long Island City, which is in the New York City borough of Queens, and Arlington County's Crystal City. Both are located directly across from the major city centers.

Amazon said it will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. And for picking Long Island City, the company said it will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs.

“These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come," Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. "The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Government officials in both New York and Northern Virginia were expected to hold events for announcements, according to people familiar with the matter.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., hailed the decision.

“I’m thrilled that our skilled workforce helped persuade Amazon to bring a major new headquarters and its tens of thousands of jobs to Virginia," Kaine said in a statement. "Congratulations are in order to Governors McAuliffe and Northam and the local leaders who worked to ensure that this deal includes investments in our education and transportation infrastructure."

In addition to Long Island City and Crystal City, Amazon announced its decision to make Nashville, Tennessee, its East Coast operations hub. The company said it will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville.About a week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was in late-stage negotiations with several locations, including New York and Crystal City as well as Dallas.

The search began across North America in September 2017, with the aim of creating a second, equal headquarters to its home base in Seattle.

It had said the new location would house roughly 50,000 jobs and represent billions in investments.  Amazon narrowed the contest to 20 finalist cities in January.

Then came the big surprise a week ago when the Journal reported that Amazon planned to split its second headquarters evenly between two locations rather than picking one city.

The qualifications for the selection of its new headquarters sites, including access to mass transit, proximity to an airport with direct flights to and from Seattle and -- perhaps most important -- a pool of available tech talent nearby.