Amazon has chosen its second U.S. headquarters, splitting the site into two East Coast locations: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, just outside Washington DC.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman filed this report from Crystal City.
In a statement Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said: “We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia. These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come.”
Communities around the United States competed for the opportunity to host what Amazon has dubbed “HQ2,” offering hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives including tax breaks.
“I said, ‘Whatever it takes.’ I offered to change the name of my oldest born. Cara is a nice name, but I would change it to ‘Amazon-Cara’, or maybe, ‘Cara-Amazon.’ We have to talk about it,” New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo joked.
Amazon said each location will create about 25,000 high-paying jobs and $2.5 billion in investment from the online giant. Together, they will occupy close to 750,000 square meters of office space.
Analysts said the locations will allow Amazon to expand into new business areas.
“Amazon is not Just the Amazon associated with books for shipping anymore. They are expanding in so many different ways I think we are just getting a glimpse of what the future holds with Amazon,” Scott Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems said.
But excitement is tempered with wariness, as neighbors prepare to grapple with more crowds, traffic, and likely increased real estate prices. Amazon said it will invest in new infrastructure to help these neighborhoods cope with the coming crowds.
“It’s changing. Now, only time gonna say if it’s for the better or for the worse,” Nick Kanellos, who owns a diner near the Long Island City site said.