Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has officially announced its decision on where to build its new headquarters after a year-long competition that drew interest from hundreds of cities. Amazon wanted to build its new headquarters in a suburban or urban area with over 1 million people with mass transportation options and proximity to a major airport. The company received 238 bids that it narrowed to 20 finalists across the United States.
Amazon has chosen to split its second headquarters between New York’s Long Island City and Northern Virginia’s Arlington. Long Island City is a fast-growing Queens neighborhood minutes from downtown Manhattan by subway. The Arlington headquarters will be located less than 3 miles from downtown Washington DC.
Amazon will have four million square feet of office space at each location, with the option of expanding to 8 million square feet. Both locations will each have more than 25,000 workers over time. The company says that jobs in both cities will have an average annual salary of $150,000. Hiring for the new locations will begin next year.
The locations will both receive a $2.5 billion investment from Amazon to pay for the infrastructure needed for the headquarters. Amazon will receive incentives of about $1.5 billion in Long Island City, based on job creation, and incentives of $573 million for Arlington, based on a blog post by the company.
However, the company says that the incentives were not the main driving factor for the decision. Jay Carney, SVP of Worldwide Corporate Affairs at Amazon, said, “If you look at some of the packages that were put forward by other cities, the incentives … in New York and the DC area, Northern Virginia are actually lower than were offered elsewhere. The talent was really the driving factor for us.”
The company also announced that it will be building a new hub in Nashville that will employ 5,000 people. The new hub will oversee customer fulfillment, transportation and supply chain activities. Nashville was one of the twenty finalists for the new headquarters.