Startups

DC makes the shortlist for Amazon HQ2

The DMV had three finalists on the list, with Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md., also making the cut.

Downtown Brooklyn's podcast champs venture into film and video.

Podcasting leader Gimlet Media announced Wednesday it is launching a film and video vertical called Gimlet Pictures. The news comes after a remarkably successful year for the Downtown Brooklyn startup, in which it raised $20 million, launched several new podcasts and stuck its toe into the water of moving pictures. Deadline is reporting that Gimlet's Chris Gilberti will lead Gimlet Pictures. He will split time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, according to the publication. https://twitter.com/joshmuccio/status/958801761602502656 Gimlet reaches 12 million people with monthly downloads of its stable of 17 podcasts, which include the popular Reply All and Crimetown. This year, Amazon Video will premiere a show called Homecoming, based off the Gimlet podcast of the same name, which will star Julia Roberts. Another upcoming show based on a Gimlet podcast will be Alex, Inc., set to air on ABC and starring and directed by Zach Braff. The show will be based off of Gimlet founder Alex Blumberg's StartUp podcast. Earlier this month we ranked Gimlet as the No. 6 startup in Brooklyn.

The shortlist of locales in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters is out, and it looks as though the D.C. area is getting a serious look.

D.C. made the list of 20 locations that are finalists for HQ2, as well as Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md. Amazon said it received a total of 238 proposals.

The District has showed up on many pundit shortlists for the headquarters, which Amazon has said would bring 50,000 jobs, for the area’s concentration of talent Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ recently-purchased home in Kalorama. The District proposed four separate sites for the second headquarters. These included areas along the Anacostia River, Capitol Hill East, NoMa/Union Station and the Shaw/Howard University area, Curbed reported. Amazon’s announcement only lists “Washington, D.C.,” as a finalist, so it’s unclear if it prefers one of the neighborhoods over another.

“Making this list reaffirms what we already knew going into the bid process – Washington DC is no longer a one-company government town, we are a leader in innovation and tech, brimming with top talent and endless opportunity,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

As far as what incentives are being offered, some details were filled in by documents given to WAMU through an open records request. According to the station, incentives were offered through an existing tax credit program for tech companies that includes credits for every employee hired. D.C. is also proposing a workforce training center called Amazon University. However, the extent of the package isn’t known. WAMU reported that the response was heavily redacted. Previous records obtained by data journalist Kate Rabinowitz showed the District spent $140,000 on marketing materials.

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In Northern Virginia, the Washington Business Journal has reported that officials in Fairfax and Loudoun County were submitting a bid for a site that’s anchored by the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon.

Montgomery County was one of a number of proposals submitted for a Maryland site. The location of the site has yet to be disclosed, Bethesda Magazine reported. Amazon’s announcement comes shortly after Discovery Communications said it would leave Silver Spring for New York next year, and sell a headquarters that employs 1,300 people.

Amazon said a decision on the location should be made this year.

“In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community,” the company stated.

Companies: Amazon
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