Amazon names locations for new US HQs

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What followed was a massive bidding war as cities made their pitches for what was dubbed HQ2- including how they'd make it worth the internet giant's while, financially.

(NASDAQ:AMZN) courted by various cities across North America for their second headquarters has finally concluded with the new headquarters named "HQ2" planned for New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

Here's how it all played out.

Amazon received bids from 238 cities.

However, not everyone was swept up in the excitement.

In New York, a similar storyline was playing out in a section of the city in the midst of transformation from its industrial past.

Amazon soon will announce a location for its second headquarters, declaring which metro - or metros - best meet a long list of attributes.

- $2.5 billion investment from Amazon. If they decide not to cash out on their investment for up to seven years, they receive another benefit: They get to exclude up to 15 percent of those gains from taxes. For example, Amazon's Anable Basin site is just a mile from the census tract containing Queensbridge Houses, the nation's largest public housing complex, where the median household income is $14,000 and the poverty rate is almost 50 percent.


What do the cities themselves get for all that effort?

"The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here", she wrote. Company spokesman Adam Sedo declined to provide details about whether Amazon plans to take advantage of them.

The incentives offered for Amazon's Long Island City campus total $1.5 billion if the company hires 25,000 people, and up to $1.7 billion if it hires 40,000 people, which mostly reflects a $48,000-per-job tax credit for every position as long as the average salary is at least $150,000.

The company says it has invested $US160 billion in the United States since 2010, including in warehouses, data centres and employee compensation. Also according to Kimmelman, tech workers, "increasingly.demanded the diversity and benefits of city life".

For anyone wondering what the future of housing prices looks like post-Amazon, look no further than Seattle. And Arlington is among the wealthiest counties in the United States (in 2016, the median income there was $US108,706).

One city hoping that Amazon could give it an economic boost was Dallas.

"Massachusetts is the proud home of almost 4,000 Amazon jobs located in numerous facilities across the Commonwealth, including the headquarters for Amazon Robotics in North Reading and the creation of an additional 2,000 Amazon jobs in Boston's Seaport district by 2021", the state economic development office said in a statement.

"My heart is broken today", Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat who represents the area where Amazon's new headquarters will be located, said that affordable housing may be an issue, but the announcement is a welcome development that will help increase the area's tax base to help ease overcrowding in schools and address other pressing needs. Both of the winning cities are seen as desirable living locations, but that's also what makes living there so expensive. "We're well past that, and there's zero public justification for a package as rich as this".

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