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Amazon finishes visiting its top 20 contenders for HQ2. Here’s what we know

POSTED May 20, 2018 8:19 a.m.
The search is almost over.

Citing “sources close to the process,” NBC News reported that Amazon has finished visiting all 20 cities on its short list of possible locations for its second headquarters.

Amazon is now “one step further in deciding which city” will host the company’s second headquarters, which is reported to net $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs.

Despite submitting a proposal and bid, no Utah cities made the final list.

Regardless of which city wins the Amazon race, locations on the finalist list have already seen an increase in interest.

For example, Newark, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; and Philadelphia all saw climbs in economic development inquiries since Amazon announced those cities were on the short list, NBC reported.

“We’re seeing this halo effect, and we’re excited,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “It has provided renewed interest in the City of Newark. Our city is changing, and this buzz has helped change the perception.”

Lauren Cox, who works in Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce, saw something similar.

“Since the HQ2 bid, we have experienced a number of companies who reference the Amazon pitch as a catalyst for their interest in Philadelphia as a location for business operations,” she said, according to NBC News. “One London company, which had Philadelphia on its short list last fall, already began its move to the city in January.”

It remains unclear where Amazon will build its second headquarters. But Arlington, Texas, might have some additional insights into what Amazon wants from its future host.

Arlington submitted a bid to Amazon and was added to the short list. However, Amazon passed on the city, according to officials who spoke with CNNMoney.

"I think they're looking for a more advanced urban setting," Mayor Jeff Williams told CNN.

Indeed, major urban cities like New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., are all on Amazon’s list of potential cities.

The greater Washington, D.C., area seems to be a frontrunner for the new spot. According to Business Insider, there’s plenty of evidence that Amazon will select the nation’s capital, including Amazon’s recent lobbying efforts in Washington, the fact that three contenders are in the D.C. area, and a viral news story out of Arlington, Virginia (more on that here).

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