Amazon is likely going to move into the next stage of choosing its second headquarters without the kind of publicity exhibited during the request for proposals. According to people familiar with the process, the company would like to stop the public nature of the first phase and conduct the next steps quietly.
The competition that attracted 238 cities aims to identify a location that will host a $5 billion second headquarters for Amazon in North America. This is expected to create 50,000 high paying jobs with average salaries of $100,000 per year. With other additional benefits to the local economy, most cities rushed to submit proposals with the hope of landing the lucrative deal.
Last week Amazon announced a shortlist of 20 cities for HQ2. The list includes Montgomery County, Dallas, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Raleigh, Atlanta, Chicago, Newark, Toronto, Northern Virginia, New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Moving forward, the online retail giant will request supplementary information from the shortlisted cities and visit each city before announcing a winner
After the jostling and publicity stunts that characterized the first round of the competition, the next process will be more about the value and material basis of the proposals. Amazon will be choosing the proposal that best meets its criteria and benefits it the most.
According to the Request for proposals, Amazon is looking for a location with a steady supply of talent in software development and related fields as well as an environment that is business-friendly. On the business-friendly part, Amazon is seeking incentives that could range from workforce grants, utility incentives to tax credits and exemptions. The preferred candidate will be a metropolitan area with more than one million residents with viable real estate and transit options.