The competition for Amazon‘s second headquarters appears to be dwindling, but reports indicate Northern Virginia’s Crystal City is still at the top of the discussion.
Amazon is having advanced discussions with a small handful of finalist communities including Crystal City, Va., Dallas and New York City as it nears a final decision for HQ2, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Amazon announced a bidding process for its second headquarters in late 2017. In January 2018, Amazon released a shortlist of 20 locales in the running for its second headquarters that included Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Md., giving the DMV a serious look, Technical.ly DC previously reported.
The Washington Post reported that in these final discussions, Amazon is exploring options like where the building would be, staffing needs for HQ2’s projected 50,000 jobs and how to make a public announcement about the final decision. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he’s choosing the HQ2 location with his heart, and a lot of research.
“Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data — for a decision like that, as far as I know, the best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data but then you make the decision with your heart,” Bezos said in a CNN interview.
JBG Smith, Crystal City’s top real estate developer, is so hopeful for Amazon’s HQ2 that the company took some of its buildings off the leasing market. The Washington Post reported that two people close to the process told the news giant that if Crystal City was selected, Amazon would most likely move an initial group of employees into two office buildings targeted for redevelopment in the next nine months or less at 1851 S. Bell St. or 1770 Crystal Dr., which are both owned by JBG Smith.
DMV government officials including Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol (D) and Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) declined to comment on the Amazon HQ2 discussion. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) had earlier in the week made a comment about the state’s government resources being expended “for good reason,” according to the Post.
After the Post’s report, Mike Grella, director of economic development for Amazon, took to Twitter to express his frustration.
Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection. You’re not doing Crystal City, VA any favors. And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin. https://t.co/wqrZLqr8MQ
— Mike Grella (@MikeGrella) November 3, 2018
Amazon has said a decision on the location for second headquarters is expected by the end of the year.
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