VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Amazon will split its second headquarters between Long Island City in New York and Crystal City in northern Virginia, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The official decision expected later Tuesday will end an intense competition between North American cities to win the Amazon bid and its promise of 50,000 new jobs — and dash Toronto’s hopes of securing one of the locations.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in September that the city — the only Canadian contender to make the short list — was uniquely positioned to host the company because of its diversity and comparatively lower business costs.

READ MORE: Vancovuer Island mayor looking to bring Amazon headquarters to B.C.

Tory had said that Toronto submitted a bid that highlighted “the fact that the Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce.”

“There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength. We made that point to Amazon in our pitch and in person when they visited us here,” he said in a statement to The Canadian Press in September.

Some locations tried to stand out with stunts, but Amazon made clear that it really wanted incentives, like tax breaks and grants. Amazon also had sought to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people, among other criteria.

The company received 238 proposals before narrowing the list to 20 in January.

READ MORE: Amazon to expand Vancouver tech hub

Amazon had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and have room to expand. It also wanted to able to attract top technical talent and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as eight million square feet in the next decade.

Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.

Rapidly growing Long Island City, in the borough of Queens, is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.

In setting off the flurry of interest, Amazon said it could spend more than US$5 billion to build its second headquarters over the next 17 years. The two locations combined would be about the same size as the company’s current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and houses 40,000 employees.

The company isn’t leaving Seattle, and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the new headquarters will be “a full equal” to its current home.

The extra space will help the rapidly growing company.

Launched in 1995 as a site that mostly sells books, Amazon now produces movies, makes voice-activated Echo devices, runs the Whole Foods grocery chain, offers online services to businesses and designs its own brands of furniture, clothing and diapers. Its ambitions are wide: It launched a company to lower health care costs for its employees and Amazon’s corporate partners in the venture, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.

Amazon’s employee total has ballooned to more than 600,000 worldwide, and that’s expected to increase as it builds more warehouses across the country to keep up with online orders. The company recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $15 an hour, but the employees at its second headquarters will be paid a lot more — Amazon says they’ll make an average of more than $100,000 a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Shopping cart collector at B.C. Costco awarded $583,000 after getting pinned by car

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when a driver backed into him in the parking lot

Most Read