Amazon’s grueling, year-long HQ2 search—which mostly entailed cities across the country competing to outdo each other with the most lavish incentives, often behind closed doors—has come to a close, with the company reportedly choosing New York and Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington County, Virginia. According to the Wall Street Journal, “people familiar with the matter” relayed that the decision has been made and may be announced as soon as Tuesday: Amazon is dividing the second headquarters evenly between New York’s Long Island City and Arlington County’s Crystal City neighborhoods, which are both located directly across from the major city centers. The decision effectively gives Amazon a major presence in three coastal cities. Amazon declined to comment. For the past week, both New York and Crystal City have been publicly touted as major contenders for HQ2 sites, with reports indicating that the 50,000 jobs Amazon claimed will be created by the move will be split by both cities. Crystal City is very close to Washington, DC, and well within the boundaries of the capitol’s sprawling national security complex, which could help the e-commerce giant expand its domain into cloud computing contracts with agencies like the CIA, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon. As Gizmodo noted previously, it’s obvious why the Seattle-based Amazon would choose the biggest East Coast city in New York, though the rumored site in Queens is an “already crowded, unaffordable, rapidly gentrifying neighborhood” whose problems will likely be exacerbated by a huge tech campus. Protests are already being… [Read full story]
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