Looks Like Amazon HQ2 Will Really be an HQ 2a and 2b
And after all of the supposed meetings, applications, a second round of cuts, and whatever else it did to help narrow down its second headquarters decision, a new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Amazon will ultimately decide to “evenly split” its HQ2 between two cities. This “surprise decision” was reportedly driven by the company’s need to recruit enough tech talent and to support its overall growth.
What that reads, to this tech editor, is that Amazon will likely opt to place 25,000 employees in or around Washington, DC—to help it “grow” (i.e. fight any potential regulations that may come down the line, and have staff in place to lobby on behalf of Amazon)—and another 25,000 in some other tech hub, perhaps Austin, New York, or the like.
The Wall Street Journal report, which said that Amazon is in “advanced talks” with a number of different cities, cites anonymous individuals who are familiar with those discussions and other HQ2 matters. Despite the advanced stages of those discussions, Amazon has yet to make any firm decisions, the report said.
When the open call for bids was first announced nearly 14 months ago, Amazon received pitches from hundreds of North American cities, which was then narrowed down to a list of 20 finalists. The promise of landing HQ2, at the time, was a stated $5 billion in investments made by Amazon in the winning city for construction, infrastructure, and more, as well as the addition of some 50,000 jobs—not to mention the pride of getting to call yourself the second home of one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world.
Now, though, the plan would seem to be to literally split those investments in half along with the stated human capital that would be located in each headquarters city. Kind of makes you wonder if it was worth all of the time, money, and other investments made by all of those cities to try and court the company in the first place.
This should serve as a moment of reflection for everyone involved in the HQ2 hype (me included). If Amazon ends up splitting its expansion into mini HQs, that is called...opening satellite offices, which scarcely deserves the buckets of ink spilled so far https://t.co/S5NB8V1f5k
— Nick Wingfield (@nickwingfield) November 5, 2018
At any rate, an official announcement on when and where these new HQ2a and HQ2b campuses will be is expected to be made in the very near future.