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Amazon in D.C.? 8 journalists who predict the tech company may choose the nation’s capital

Washington, D.C., is seen as a strong contender for HQ2, thanks to its tech industry, walkability, and the fact that Jeff Bezos lives here

The mayor’s office of Washington, D.C., confirmed that they are interested in bidding for Amazon’s second headquarters (or HQ2), and it looks like it has support from a number of locals and journalists.

In a statement emailed to Curbed DC, the mayor’s office said, “We believe we check the boxes for Amazon’s request for a second headquarters with our highly educated workforce, expanding business community and thriving tech sector.”

The second headquarters is expected to bring up to 50,000 workers and cost as much as $5 billion. It is also expected to be the “full equal” to the headquarters in Seattle, Washington, which spans 8.1 million square feet in 33 buildings.

While the New York Times expects Denver to be the finalist for Amazon’s search, the publication still made the case that D.C. could be a strong contender, describing the District as having a large pool of tech workers, a strong university system nearby, and Jeff Bezos’ Kalorama home, which he bought last year for $23 million.

There have been some local celebrities who have shown interest in the planned headquarters. One local who expressed excitement at the aspect of Amazon moving to D.C. was restaurateur José Andrés. In a tweet, he wrote, “@JeffBezos yes Jeff @washingtondc is the right place for your @amazon second HQ.”

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has also shown his support multiple times on Twitter. In one of his tweets, he described St. Elizabeth’s as “a great site” for the headquarters. He further wrote in another tweet, “Jeff Bezos, make D.C. home 2! Our city can help, we have the talent, land, and infrastructure!”

Below, get a brief glimpse at why journalists believe that the nation’s capital is a strong contender for Amazon’s HQ2:

  1. On Storify, CityLab Co-founder and Editor Richard Florida ranked D.C. as one of the top three choices for Amazon, including Toronto and Chicago. “My gut tells me Amazon will pick D.C. for its HQ2,” Florida writes, saying that the District has benefits, which include walkability, transit, and the possibility that Bezos may want to live near the second headquarters.
  2. John Boyd, a principal of The Boyd Co., told Washington Business Journal that D.C. is a finalist on his own list of perfect Amazon spots. Other cities on his short list include Atlanta, Boston, and central New Jersey.
  3. While Bloomberg wrote that Amazon could do better than D.C., the publication does offer some reasons why Amazon may find D.C. an attractive site. For one, D.C. is “the most educated city in America,” according to Bloomberg. The city also offers high housing prices, incomes, and also tax concessions. Despite all this, Bloomberg remains skeptical.
  4. In an opinion article, MarketWatch journalist Steve Goldstein reported that Washington, D.C., does indeed meet the criteria for Amazon’s headquarters along with 53 other U.S. metropolitan areas and six Canadian cities. Goldstein even goes so far as to name the nation’s capital a finalist on his personal short list for Amazon’s second headquarters.
  5. CNNMoney named D.C. one of the top eight cities perfect for Amazon's headquarters. The reason is because D.C. ranked number four on CBRE's 2017 rankings of cities with the top tech talent. CNNMoney further speculated that “an Amazon headquarters near the federal government could be a chance to build better connection with national leaders.”
  6. Curbed sister site Recode named D.C. one of the U.S. cities with the best chance of nabbing the headquarters. Even so, Recode noted that D.C. is the most expensive for commercial real estate when compared to the 20 cities the online publication researched.
  7. While it’s still up in the air on which sites D.C. will propose for the headquarters, Binyamin Appelbaum‏, Washington correspondent for the New York Times, suggested in a tweet that Amazon could take over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) building.
  8. Local blog Greater Greater Washington had their own discussion on whether or not D.C. would be a viable choice for the tech company. Greater Greater Washington columnist Tracy Hadden Loh described the D.C. area as “a strong contender.” On where the headquarters could be placed, Greater Greater Washington columnist and Arlington, Virginia, transportation planner Dan Malouff said, "Poplar Point basically fits their criteria,” while also suggesting Walter Reed, St. Elizabeth’s, and “even somewhere in Brentwood.”

Amazon’s second headquarters could come to D.C. [Curbed DC]