No, Amazon Didn't Just Rename a City 'National Landing.' Here's the Deal

A pedestrian walks past a mural in the Long Island City neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York U.S. on Friday Nov. 9 2018

Yet Amazon's ultimate decision to split its headquarters between NY and the Washington, D.C. -area proves something rather predictable: Big cities win the big companies.

Each will get 25,000 jobs.

"We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia", said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

The decision was finally declared on Tuesday after a year-long bidding battle between more than 200 cities that had winded down to the 20 finalists last January including Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Amazon also said it would open an operations center in Nashville that would be responsible for customer fulfillment, adding more than 5,000 jobs.

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Google plans to double its workforce in New York City to more than 14,000 people over the next decade, setting up a showdown for top tech talent in the city where Amazon is putting one of its two HQ2s. "While I am proud Boston was named to Amazon's shortlist for its second North American headquarters, our future will not be defined by a single company as we continue to plan for equitable, sustainable growth".

In picking the locations, the company had stated preferences like "stable and business friendly environment", "metropolitan areas with more than one million people" and "communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options". The entire HQ2 search was predicated on Amazon extracting as much as they possibly could from cities and states, before deciding to land in places that would offer them the most. "We're a city full of innovators".

But the retailer made it clear that it was tax incentives and grants that is was looking for.

The company says it will invest $5 billion and create over 25,000 jobs in each city, for a total of over 50,000 jobs, resulting in three Amazon headquarters now in Seattle, New York City and Arlington.

Each city offered tax incentives to the e-commerce giant, including in NY where the company said it will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion - meaning it won't receive money if it doesn't follow through on its promises. Amazon's investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities.

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In New York, Amazon selected Long Island City, just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side - a location it touted for its blend of cultural institutions, arts organizations, new and converted housing, restaurants, bars, breweries, waterfront parks, hotels, academic institutions, and small and large tech sector and industrial businesses. "I also don't understand why a company as rich as Amazon would need almost $2 billion in public money for its expansion at a time when NY desperately needs money for affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure, and education".

National Landing will have 17 million square feet of office space and 24,000 housing units within 2 miles, affordable "at average Amazon income", according to a website created for northern Virginia's pitch.

- More than $230 million in investment.

Similarly, Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, said companies in NY and CT have been looking at Broward County. It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Virginia Tech to grow. She also raised the issue of overcrowded schools and traffic.

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