The internet retailer received 238 bids for their second headquarters, which will supplement the existing Seattle headquarters. After months of deliberation and exhaustive analysis taking into account lifestyle, talent markets, and cost-of-living, the company has finally come to a decision. San Diego will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. The internet giant expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to their current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
Jeff Bezos, the company’s CEO, notes that “San Diego has the space that the company will require in order to continue to deal with continued growth, access to a network of strong universities, and a high quality of living.”
The city’s agency in charge of development offered no special tax incentives or outlandish promises after the announcement that Amazon would choose a site with 8 million square feet of space for the retail giant. The second headquarters would be not just a public relations plum for a city, but also would bring as many as 50,000 jobs with it.
The city agency known as Prosper San Diego cobbled together a proposed headquarters site that ranges across several blocks downtown to achieve Amazon’s required size. Some of the site sits in a tax-advantaged enterprise zone, which means the city would temporarily lose out on property tax income.
The city also said it would accelerate work on infrastructure and housing, but only if Amazon contributed.
“We’re not gonna play in the incentive game, nor should we, so let’s make what we have for options and our value proposition stand out,” wrote Matt Miller in a September email to Prosper San Diego employees.
Construction is expected to begin in 2019, but the company notes that there are still many decisions to make, so that timeline remains tentative at this time.