Prime candidates

Austin gets one step closer to landing Amazon's second headquarters

Austin gets one step closer to landing Amazon's second headquarters

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On January 18, Amazon released its list of the top 20 contenders for HQ2.  Photo by Wallstplaybook.com

Austin, which has been lauded as a top contender for Amazon's second headquarters, appears on the new shortlist for the e-commerce giant’s new $5 billion project.

On January 18, Amazon revealed it narrowed the field of 238 North American candidates for its so-called HQ2 to 20 finalists, including Austin and Dallas. Houston didn’t make the cut, while San Antonio didn’t submit a bid.

Seattle-based Amazon says it eventually will create up to 50,000 jobs at its second headquarters. In announcing the 20 finalists, the company emphasizes that HQ2 will be a true headquarters, not a satellite office. Here in Austin, recent speculation has pointed to Burnet Road in North Austin as a potential development site for the new project.

Aside from the potential for 50,000 high-paying jobs, Amazon HQ2 is expected to generate tens of thousands of additional jobs and billions of dollars in additional investment in the metro area that lands the project.

Amazon says it evaluated each of the 238 bids based on criteria outlined in the company’s call for proposals. Now, Amazon will work with the 20 finalists to dig deeper into their proposals, request further information, and evaluate how they’d accommodate the company’s hiring plans and workforce needs. Amazon plans to make a decision about HQ2 in 2018.

“Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, an executive with Amazon Public Policy, says in a release. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

In alphabetical order, here’s the list of the 20 finalists for Amazon HQ2:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Nashville
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Toronto
  • Washington, D.C.