By the end of 2018, we will know where Amazon plans to build its second headquarters, a project known as HQ2.
What’s the latest on the project development and where do the experts think it’s headed?
A Second Headquarters
HQ2 has been in the works for a couple of years now, with experts, consumers, and sellers alike spending that time scouring the web for clues as to where it could land.
Hundreds of North American cities across dozens of states and a few Canadian provinces were named as potential sites. The list got slimmer over time and now stands at just 20 cities as of this January: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County (MD), Nashville, Newark, New York, Northern Virginia (unspecified), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
HQ2 will supposedly rival Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in size and also in production, and will bring with it thousands of new jobs as well as a boost to the city’s economy. It’s no surprise that this sweepstakes has been at the forefront of attention for many city government bodies and their citizens.
An HQ2 Announcement Forthcoming
On Thursday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the location of HQ2 would be made public knowledge by the end of the 2018 calendar year.
“We have made tremendous progress,” Bezos said while speaking at The Economic Club of Washington in Washington, D.C., one of the potential locations for HQ2. “The team is working their butts off on it, and we will get there.”
It’s been rumored for some time that Amazon would be making this announcement by the end of the year, but this is the first time Bezos has officially laid down a public deadline for the decision.
That gives the company just less than three months to come together on a decision. Given the small timeframe remaining, it’s likely that the company has a good idea of where HQ2 may go. Or at least the company might have an inclination.
Bezos wouldn’t show his cards at The Economic Club of Washington, slipping away from a question about HQ2 coming to the DMV area, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t clues out there.
What Are the Whispers?
Many in the industry are speculating that the mysterious “Northern Virginia” location could be in serious consideration for HQ2. Business Insider mused that Crystal City, Virginia would make sense for the company. Crystal City is a sprawling urban area just outside of D.C.
In a story that came out earlier this week, Business Insider said that, “Evidence is now piling up that Amazon is looking seriously at the nation’s capital for its HQ2 project. After all, it may be the only place large enough to capture the company’s growing ambitions across multiple sectors with its high-profile colleges, sprawling transportation system, and high concentration of powerful people.”
Indeed, it is interesting that Bezos made the deadline announcement – although prompted from the host of the panel – while in the DMV area. It helps that Amazon is considering three DMV locations as of this writing: D.C., Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County.
Business Insider also pointed out that Amazon has already begun to expand in Northern Virginia in some of its smaller assets, and that, “70% of the United States’ internet traffic flows” through the area, making it appealing for large tech companies such as Amazon.
What Are The Ramifications?
Amazon’s new headquarters will have a large impact on the community it serves and also on Amazon sellers in general. For starters, Amazon will produce many new jobs for the area; new jobs will pop up not only in working at the new headquarters but also in its construction.
HQ2 will provide a boost to the host city’s economy, but it may also have some negative impacts for its citizens. For example, Business Insider points out that Seattle “has seen a rapid increase in average prices of rentals and homes driven in part by an influx of workers,” because of Amazon’s main headquarters. Amazon has also had many conflicts with local officials in Seattle with regards to taxes, a problem which could percolate its way into the political climate in its new home.
For sellers, closer access to the company couldn’t be a bad thing. It would help sellers get connected to others like them in the area and put them in a spot where they can take greater advantage of Amazon’s new tools; any updates Amazon makes for sellers to its company would become quickly available to those close to its headquarters.
Amazon HQ2 Conclusion
This is a story that we’ve watched for a long time. It will finally draw to a close in the near future, at which point we will start to see its impact take shape. Experts and speculators alike will be keeping a close eye on what Bezos and his employees do and where they might hint at a possible decision. Until that final decision, we’re left with these little nuggets of info. and a thought as to what could be going forward.
Anders is a content creator for Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C., the law firm behind AmazonSellersLawyer.com. Anders will be earning his degree in journalism from Hofstra and has five years of professional journalism experience. He has written for numerous online and print publications including SB Nation and The Hofstra Chronicle.