Amazon.com executives toured all 20 of the finalist locations the company is considering for its second headquarters and its 50,000 jobs.
Jeffrey P. Bezos is looking for the best site for his company?
It's impossible to know for sure. But Bezos, the world's wealthiest person and the owner of The Washington Post, travels frequently aboard his own jet, a Gulfstream G650ER.
Seattle, New York, United States. Seattle, Amazon. Current home.
Bezos's public appearances in 2018, including his arrival in Palm Springs, Calif., In March for his invite-only "summer camp for geeks' conference, in Dallas in April for a speech and in the Washington area in September to appear at Air Force conference.
It has been announced in the January 20 issue of the 20-year listings in the United Kingdom – Bezos has not been more than half of the cities.
In that time, the jet has touched down in the Los Angeles area more than a dozen times and made multiple trips to Boston, Dallas, Miami, the D.C. Area and the New York City area. Amazon named three D.C. area locations (the District, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md.) finalists and two in the New York area (New York City and Newark).
The plane has not been to other finalist cities. Some of those were considered long shots from the outset, among them Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis.
But experts say it could have been possible for other cities that were considered strong possibilities, such as Chicago, Atlanta and Austin, if Bezos did. Even if he or she is not involved in the early or middle stages of the project.
"Typically, the CEO and the senior staff actually visit the specific sites late in the process," said John Boyd, a New Jersey relocation consultant who has been with PepsiCo and Dell.
Arthur G. Greenberg, a broker from the firm Savills Studley who has advised Marriott International and other companies. "I can not think of any big headquarters move without the CEO being intimately involved, and I do not know how he could do that without seeing it."
At Amazon spokesman, Bezos's had no relation to the company's search. The company says it plans to make a decision on a second headquarters before year's end.
The data examined were culled from FlightAware, an international flight tracking company, and ADS-B Exchange, an online source of flight data for aviation enthusiasts.
Amazon, which has 563,000 employees worldwide, makes hundreds of real estate decisions every year. Top-level executives, especially Bezos, could not possibly scout locations for all of them.
But a second headquarters, which has 50,000 people in 10 to 15 years, would require $ 5 billion in capital spending – the sort of investment that could reshape a region's economy.
The site, Greenberg said, "It would make a decision to make that big without seeing it." "We're not talking about a back office somewhere. This is the second headquarters. I can not imagine he would not want to see it. "
Bezos has alternative reasons to visit each of these locations. Amazon has existing business in many of the cities. For instance, experts do not consider Los Angeles a strong contender, but it is home to Amazon Studios, the company's television production company, and Bezos owns a home in Beverly Hills,
Amazon is already expanding in Boston, where it has more than 1,000 employees and plans to add nearly 3,000 more. Amazon's audio book division, Audible, is based in Newark, while its cloud computing business is located in Northern Virginia.
The plane's more recent flights – including to the District, Miami and the New York-New Jersey area – could be more significant, experts said.
John Schoettler, who oversees real estate for Amazon, has come up with the company's nearly two decades of expansion in Seattle, which may have earned him some independence.
But maybe not complete independence.
Chris Volney's site selection expert at Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate services firm, said: "It sounds like it's a very small team that's actually involved in this process." "Usually if it's a smaller team, the CEO is likely to be more involved."
So what does Bezos think?
Speaking Thursday at a conference in New York, he acknowledged that there was a lot of information to take into account. Ultimately, he said, "you always take that in the data, but then you make the decision with your heart."
Which place does he love best? It's anyone's guess.