Amazon, the online retail giant, has announced its intention to build a massive $5 billion campus that will become its second headquarters. In an invitation to local governments and states to come forward and pitch their proposals, the company says it will bring 50,000 top-paying jobs to the winning hub in what will become HQ2 – a fully fledged headquarters equivalent to the Seattle home. In addition, this undertaking is expected to create thousands of jobs in construction and other allied industries. Other related investments in the city could run into billions of dollars. In its own estimate, Amazon says that from 2010 through 2016, its investments in Seattle resulted in $38 billion additional inflows to the city’s economy meaning that every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars on average for the city’s economy.
In a news release, Amazon said that the expectation is to bring on board new executives and teams to occupy the new HQ2 and at the same time allow current executives to choose whether to move their teams to HQ2 or have them in both locations. Employees would also be given a chance to weigh in on their preference.
The rapid expansion of Amazon has led to its occupation of 33 buildings across Seattle totaling 8 million square feet, fundamentally changing the city’s landscape mainly in South Lake Union and Denny Triangle. The company’s estimation is to occupy 12 million square feet by the year 2022. It has also been reported by sources that the company has more than 6,000 open positions in Seattle which indicates continued demand for space.
According to Amazon, the ideal location for HQ2 should have a steady supply of talent in software development and related fields as well as an environment that is business-friendly. The preferred candidate will be a metropolitan area with more than one million residents and viable real estate options. The deadline for cities to demonstrate a fit by responding to Amazon’s Request for Proposal (“RFP”) is Oct. 17, to allow a site selection that will be announced in 2018.
Details of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters:
With over 380,000 employees worldwide, and more than 40,000 of them based in the state of Washington, the company has been both a bane and blessing to its hometown of Seattle. Its rapid growth has created jobs and stimulated economic growth in the city but at the same time bore the brunt of local residents and civic leaders for its contribution to traffic congestion and rising housing prices. This situation where Amazon seems to have outgrown Seattle, the split of its HQ function to two locations will be attractive to talent, allowing employees to choose where to live. Amazon’s reputation has resulted in a top ranking on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. It took second spot on LinkedIn’s U.S. most desirable companies list and on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. The company has also appeared in the Military Times as among the best in creating opportunities for veterans.