In 2017 Amazon.com announced it was seeking a second North American headquarters which, once built out, will employ up to 50,000 high tech workers. This set off a race among big cities eager to house the world's most valuable company and its well-paid employees.
The Seattle-based online retailer founded and run by billionaire Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, said its "HQ2" would result in close to $5 billion in investment in the chosen city.
The company said it would prioritize metropolitan areas with more than one million people and that it was encouraging interested communities to think "big" and "creatively" about possible locations.
Amazon HQ2 timeline
Amazon founded in Bellevue, Washington. Later that year the small company moves to an office in Seattle.
Amazon.com launches online, selling only books.
Amazon has an estimated 10,000 employees in Seattle.
September 7, 2017
Amazon announces it is searching for a second headquarters, one that will be co-equal to its Seattle home. It posts a Request for Proposal outlining what information it requires from cities that want to be considered.
At the time, Amazon was estimated to have about 40,000 employees in Seattle. The company occupied 19% of all prime office space in the city, according to an analysis by the Seattle Times.
October 19, 2017
Deadline for cities to submit their applications. In all, 238 proposals were received, from across the United States and Canada.
January 18, 2018
Shortlist of 20 finalists announced. The cities are:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Boston/East Boston, Massachusetts
- Chicago, Illinois
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dallas, Texas
- Denver, Colorado
- Indianapolis, Indiana
-Los Angeles, California
- Miami, Florida
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Newark, New Jersey
- New York City, New York
- Northern Virginia (Loudoun County, Virginia and Fairfax County, Virginia)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Toronto, Ontario
- Washington, D.C.
Amazon teams visit all 20 cities/areas, a process that the company — and the cities — largely keep under wraps.
September 13, 2018
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington D.C., Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company will announce a decision before the end of the year.
December 31, 2018
Last day for Amazon to announce its decision.