As expected, Amazon announced two new headquarters on the East Coast, one in Long Island City, NY and one in Arlington, VA, with plans to invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs, ending a 14-month process that had 240 cities across the country selling themselves and offering huge incentives.
The company is also creating an Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, focused on improvements and innovation in customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain and related functions, which will create an additional 5,000 jobs.
The size and quality of the labor pools in the two locations was the major deciding factor for Amazon, the company said. Three other locations had been submitted by New York City, including parcels in lower Manhattan, midtown Manhattan’s West Side and central Brooklyn.
“We’re excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”
Hiring is expected to begin in 2019 for both the new headquarters and the center of excellence. Both headquarters locations will eventually have a full-time staff of 25,000, with Amazon investing $2.5 billion in each. Both will have 4 million square feet of space, with the potential to double in size.
The center of excellence in Nashville represents a $230 million investment from Amazon and will cover 1 million square feet.
The New York Times reported that Amazon narrowed a shortlist of 20 cities in January and in recent weeks smaller locations fell out of the running.
Not everyone is thrilled with the news, however. The Verge is reporting the size of the subsidies – a $1.2 billion tax credit tied to job creation and a $325 million cash grant in New York, a $573 million cash grand in Arlington, also tied to jobs – is , as well as observations that Amazon was “playing” smaller entrants.