After a one-year search for a second home, Amazon is now looking to build offices in two cities instead of one, a surprise move that could still have a big impact on the communities it finally selects.
The city of Long Island, in New York and Crystal City, in northern Virginia, have become the main candidates, according to sources close to the talks with Amazon.
Selecting those areas would bring more jobs to places that already have many. Jed Kolko, the chief economist of the work site IndeedHe said that choosing New York and the DC area "would be a much less radical movement than many imagined" and another example of "rich places getting richer."
Originally, the company had promised to bring 50,000 new high-paying jobs to one place, whose founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, said it would be "totally equal" to its base of operations in Seattle. Amazon can now divide those jobs equally between two locations, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Virginia officials and some state legislators were recently informed by the head of the state's economic development office that Amazon was considering splitting its second location, according to a person familiar with the matter.
One of the other areas that the online retail giant is considering is Long Island, according to a source familiar with the talks.
Along the East River from midtown Manhattan, Long Island is a long-established industrial and transportation hub that has become a rapidly growing neighborhood of skyscrapers and remodeled warehouses, with a durable industrial site and flourishing art scenes and technology.
Amazon has been very strict with the process and refused to comment on the latest news. There has been intense competition to win over the company, and some have thrown billions of dollars in tax incentives.
Amazon began its search for a second site in September 2017, initially receiving 238 proposals before reducing the list to 20 in January.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, met two weeks ago with Amazon officials in their New York City offices, according to the source, who was not authorized to discuss the negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity. Cuomo offered to travel to Amazon's hometown of Seattle to continue the talks, the source said.
On Tuesday, Cuomo told reporters that Amazon is looking at the city of Long Island, but did not say if it was a finalist. He said that winning Amazon would give an economic boost to the entire state and joked that he was willing to change his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to attract the company.
The New York Times reported Monday that Amazon is finalizing deals to be located on Long Island and in the Crystal City section of Arlington, Va., Outside of Washington, DC.
Amazon has said it could spend more than $ 5 billion on the new headquarters in the next 17 years, to match the size of its current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings and 23 restaurants.
The company already employs more than 600,000 worldwide. It is expected to increase as more warehouses are built across the country to keep up with online orders. Amazon recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $ 15 per hour, but employees at their second location will be paid much more, an average of more than $ 100,000 per year.
Earlier this month, Bezos said during an interview in New York that the final decision will be reduced to intuition.