D.C., Md., Va. Among Finalists for Amazon’s HQ2

D.C. has made the cut in the bid for Amazon’s new $5 billion second headquarters, the company announced Thursday.

The District counted among 20 finalists from hundreds of cities that submitted bids last year to land the coveted e-commerce and cloud computing company that was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos.

Maryland’s Montgomery County and Northern Virginia also made the list, officials said.

Seattle houses Amazon’s original headquarters and the company said it would spend $5 billion in the place where it builds its second headquarters. Company executives said they plan to employ 50,000 people at its second headquarters with the average annual salary of approximately $100,000.

Amazon received 238 proposals from cities in North America, many with lofty tax incentives and unique offers directed at Bezos, according to CNBC.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, an executive with Amazon Public Policy, said in a statement.

The 20 places that are moving on in the selection process will work with Amazon over the coming months to “evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership,” the company said.

Amazon expects to make a final decision this year.

The Anacostia Riverfront, NoMa-Union Station, Capitol Hill East and the Shaw-Howard University are the four areas Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials have proposed as potential sites of a new Amazon headquarters.

In October, Bowser said the four locations District officials have proposed meets Amazon’s needs.

“These locations present unparalleled opportunity for Amazon to create interconnected transit-oriented and sustainable campuses with access to riverfront and green spaces,” Bowser said. “Our city’s growing tech scene, talented and diverse workforce, rich culture and inclusive environment already made Washington, D.C., an ideal location for Amazon HQ2, and now people can begin to think more specifically about how the tech company will fit into our community.”

In the city’s proposal to Amazon, Bowser also highlighted that Forbes magazine named D.C. the No. 1 city for women in tech this year and Bon Appétit named the District the top restaurant city in 2016.

The proposal also noted that Forbes named Washington the “Coolest City,” in 2014 and SmartAsset named D.C. the No. 1 Best City for Tech last year. The city also earned distinctions of being No. 1 for women’s employment and earnings and being the first LEED Platinum City in the world.

In pushing the Anacostia Riverfront, city officials said it offers the best of two worlds: a breathtaking river corridor with more than 1,200 acres of parklands integrated into a high-density and transit-oriented community that’s accessible by walking, biking, Metro, ferry, or even kayak.

“Anacostia Riverfront provides a space where urban living meets water, people meet parks and history meets progress,” city officials said in its proposal.

The NoMa-Union Station counts among D.C.’s most connected neighborhoods with green contemporary spaces that mingle with boutique retail experiences and a vibrant maker history.

NoMa resides between Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, Shaw, H Street and Bloomingdale and counts as one of the District’s fastest growing neighborhoods with more than 100,000 daily pedestrians, 54,000 office workers and 44,000 residents.

Potential HQ2 office space includes Union Market, a former warehouse district that honors its historic culinary origins with Michelin-rated food as well as music, retail, hotel, office and residential spaces, officials said.

“The NoMa Union Station area presents an unparalleled opportunity to create an interconnected, transit-oriented and sustainably rich campus for Amazon HQ2,” Bowser said in a statement.

Capitol Hill East offers a consolidated site where a riverfront ecosystem connects with the east end of Capitol Hill, a neighborhood well known for hosting many of the nation’s leaders while serving as a permanent home to thousands of Washingtonians, city officials said.

The site’s recently initiated Phase One development will create 350 apartment units, nearly 40,000 square feet of retail and a dedicated town square.

Capitol Hill East would allow Amazon HQ2 to become be an unparalleled riverside campus in an urban enclave, where the originality of place spurs originality of thought.

Meanwhile, the Shaw-Howard University proposal is centered in one of the most dynamic D.C neighborhoods as well as a world-class university.

Situated within the broader U Street, Shaw and Howard University areas, the development sites are steeped in the music, cultural and educational history at the heart of D.C’s African-American community.

The revival of Shaw and U Street has transformed the area into a destination neighborhood for retail, restaurants and restored theaters, and today is home to a thriving nightlife scene for a young and diverse population, officials said in its proposal.

The Howard University sites offer substantial Georgia Avenue frontage and serene areas adjacent to a row house residential neighborhood.

“At the center of the Shaw-Howard University neighborhood, Amazon HQ2 will be able to experience a mix of old and new, quaint and eclectic, food and fun,” Bowser said.

Although Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pushed for the headquarters to open in Baltimore, he applauded Montgomery County in being selected.

“This is tremendous news for Montgomery County, our entire state and further proof that Maryland is truly open for business,” Hogan said in a statement. “Going forward, we will continue working with our partners in Montgomery County, including County Executive Ike Leggett and his team, to ensure that we do everything possible to bring this project home.”

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III also expressed disappointment in his county missing the cut, but was pleased neighboring jurisdictions are still in the running.

“When we advocated for our sites, we promoted our location in a combined Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area of over 10 million people,” Baker said in a statement. “Amazon’s decision today clearly recognizes the strength of the region.”

The finalists are:

Washington, D.C.

Montgomery County, Md.

Atlanta

Austin, Texas

Boston

Chicago

Columbus, Ohio

Dallas

Denver

Indianapolis

Los Angeles

Miami

Nashville, Tenn.

Newark, N.J.

New York City

Northern Virginia

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Raleigh, N.C.

Toronto

William J. Ford contributed to this story.

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About Stacy Brown 426 Articles
I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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