Everything we know about Amazon's HQ2 search

Amazon has made this much clear: It will finish its search for a second headquarters by the end of the year....

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 10:48 AM
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 10:48 AM

Amazon has made this much clear: It will finish its search for a second headquarters by the end of the year. Beyond that, a lot is TBD.

The company sent cities across North America into a frenzy last year when it announced its search. Dubbed HQ2, the new facility — or facilities — will cost at least $5 billion to construct and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 10 to 15 years. Employees at Amazon's (AMZN) main campus in Seattle will be offered the chance to relocate.

Amazon.com Inc

Companies

Continents and regions

New York (State)

New York City

North America

Northeastern United States

The Americas

United States

The company has narrowed 238 proposals down to 20 finalists, and executives have traveled across the United States and to one Canadian city to survey sites for Amazon's new home. But as the company provides few updates, theories and leaks about which city will be crowned winner continue to swirl — and this week has brought a fresh flurry of news.

On Monday night, The New York Times reported that Amazon is close to a deal to split HQ2 between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.

Long Island City is one of four areas that New York City proposed in its bid for the Amazon project. The others were Midtown West, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Lower Manhattan.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that Amazon plans to divide its second headquarters evenly between two cities instead of picking one winner. According to the Journal's sources, the rationale behind selecting two cities is to recruit enough technical talent.

Amazon declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal report and didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the New York Times report.

Here's what we know about where HQ2 plans stand.

What qualities is Amazon seeking for HQ2?

The expected 50,000 people who will eventually work at the new headquarters will bring a huge economic boost to the winning city — or cities. The fact that the jobs pay well makes the opportunity even more attractive.

But the cities must have certain attributes.

In its request for proposals, Amazon outlined several criteria for HQ2, such as proximity to a major airport and the ability to attract technical talent. It must be a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people. Amazon also said it was looking for communities that offer a "stable and business-friendly" environment and access to mass transit.

Which cities are still in the running, and who are the top contenders?

Depends on who you ask.

Amazon announced a list of 20 finalists for HQ2 in January, including: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto; and Washington, DC.

Over the past weekend, The Washington Post reported that Northern Virginia's Crystal City was in advanced talks with Amazon for the second headquarters. On Sunday, the Journal said not only Crystal City but also Dallas and New York City were in late-stage discussions with the company. According to the Journal's sources, talks with other cities — such as Denver, Toronto and Nashville — appear to have fizzled out.

An Amazon executive took a swipe at the Washington Post report on Saturday. "Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection. You're not doing Crystal City, VA any favors. And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin," tweeted Mike Grella, Amazon's Director of Economic Development.

Grella leads economic development for Amazon Web Services and has not been involved at all in the HQ2 search, a source familiar with the matter told CNN Business.

Meanwhile, the Washington, DC, metro area has been considered a favorite for the site. It's the only region with three finalists on the short list, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and has a home in the nation's capital.

Representatives for cities such as Dallas, Crystal City, Austin and Philadelphia declined to comment to CNN Business, while others did not respond to requests for comment.

What are cities offering Amazon?

Some cities got creative with their offers. Stonecrest, Georgia — which is still in the running as part of Atlanta's bid — offered to turn over some of its land and rename it the city of Amazon.

But on the whole, finalists took varying approaches to releasing their proposals to the public. Toronto, the only Canadian city on the short list, posted its entire bid online without redactions. The city touted its diverse technical talent, universal health care and welcoming immigration system. It also proposed real estate sites for the facility.

Others have gone public with big tax incentives. Maryland approved $8.5 billion in incentives to Amazon — the largest known package. Not far behind is Newark, New Jersey, which announced $7 billion in incentives to attract the company.

But many cities released blacked-out versions of their bids or refused to make any part of their proposals public. Philadelphia released a heavily redacted proposal that included information about possible sites and its talent pool, but blocked out details about incentives.

Where are we in the decision-making process, and when will Amazon make a final announcement?

Amazon is famously secretive, so it's no surprise the company has largely remained mum throughout the HQ2 process. Since announcing its short list in January, Amazon has given virtually no public updates beyond reiterating that a decision would be made this year.

According to a source familiar with the search, Amazon wrapped up visits to all 20 finalists this summer. When touring cities, Amazon representatives met with local business leaders and saw potential real estate sites.

Following those visits, Amazon asked the finalists for a comprehensive request for information — a standard document for economic development projects — containing a variety of questions about talent, real estate, regulations and more.

In recent months, the company also reportedly revisited some of the bigger cities such as Miami, Chicago and New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 92°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 83°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 95°
High pressure gradually builds into our area over the next several days. This will gradually dwindle away chances for some showers and thunderstorms. As the chances for rainfall dwindle, chances for greater heat and heat index values will increase.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather