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Why New York and D.C. Make Sense for Amazon’s HQ2

In splitting HQ2, Amazon gains a presence in New York, which has the largest number of corporate headquarters, and greater Washington, D.C., which is fast gaining as a popular site for a corporate base.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks in Washington, D.C., a rumored site for a two-part HQ2.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks in Washington, D.C., a rumored site for a two-part HQ2.Joshua Roberts/Reuters

It is rumored that Amazon will split its new HQ2 between Crystal City in the greater Washington, D.C., metro and Long Island City in New York. While the specific locations may come as a surprise, many urbanists, including myself, have been saying all along that this was never about a single HQ2, but instead about Amazon crowdsourcing information for a host of different things in different cities, like a new research hub in Pittsburgh, a major logistics facility in Indianapolis, or a Latin America headquarters in Miami.

I predicted Amazon would select D.C. back in September 2017 when the original request for proposals was issued, citing the region’s exceptional talent base and quality of life, its location in the East-Coast power corridor, and the fact that large-scale investment and tens of thousands of jobs in the nation’s capital might help mitigate any push for antitrust regulation, not to mention Jeff Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post and a $20 million mansion.