Amazon.com has released a "short" list of cities it's considering for its second headquarters. The 20 potential cities include Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County in Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto; and Washington D.C. Last year, Amazon received bids from 238 cities and regions from across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The company said it would make a decision in 2018. Called HQ2, the new facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate, and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Total Retail's Take: There weren't too many surprises on the list of 20 cities to make it to the second round of the evaluation process. Amazon previously stated that it was looking for a headquarters with proximity to a major airport, ability to attract tech talent, and a urban or suburban area with more than 1 million people. Some favorites have emerged in the bidding process, including Atlanta and Boston, but as of yet there have been no signals from Amazon on which city it's leaning to. Politicians trying to lure the Seattle-based retailer to their cities are touting the influx of high-quality jobs and subsequent boost to the local economy, while Amazon is happy to accept the sweetheart deal (i.e., tax breaks and other incentives) that it's going to take to land the HQ2 given the intense competition for it.