Amazon made a big announcement: It’s planning to expand to a major North American city. This second headquarters would bring up to 50,000 workers and cost as much as $5 billion.
Amazon’s first headquarters in North America resides in Seattle, spanning 8.1 million square feet in 33 buildings. The new headquarters is expected to be the first headquarters’ “full equal.”
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.
“D.C. is open for business and 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. We are evaluating the RFP to determine next steps.”
According to Washington Business Journal, the Capitol Riverfront near Nationals Park could be a good possible space for the headquarters, but developers there would need to abandon their pre-existing plans first.
Savills Studley Executive Vice President Art Greenberg told the Washington Business Journal that "D.C. probably has a fighting chance. The hard part is the size and keeping that much space off the market. If you took everything left at the ballpark you could probably fit them in, but is everybody going to sit and wait?"
Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has also shown support for the District hosting the headquarters. In a tweet, he said, “Jeff Bezos, make DC home 2! Our city can help, we have the talent, land, and infrastructure!”
While Washington, D.C., is mostly known for its monuments and politics, its tech labor market is very vast as well, ahead of New York, Chicago, and Seattle. According to CBRE, Washington, D.C., ranks second among 50 U.S. markets for its ability to attract and grow tech talent.
The state of Maryland may also have a chance at housing the headquarters. David Iannucci, Prince George’s County ‘s top economic official, told the Washington Business Journal that the County is interested in bidding.
Iannucci told the Washington Business Journal, “We are greatly interested. Prince George’s can compete for this. It is a sign of our dramatic resurgence. I wouldn’t have said that five years ago.”
Below, see the criteria that is being asked in the request for proposals:
- Metropolitan areas with over 1 million people
- A stable and business-friendly environment
- Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
- Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
Amazon will be accepting proposals through October 19.
Curbed DC readers, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s possible for D.C. to be chosen to host Amazon’s second headquarters? If so, where? And if not, why not? Let us know in the comments.
• Where would Amazon's second HQ fit in Greater Washington? [Washington Business Journal]