SAN FRANCISCO – Chicago offered $ 2 billion in tax relief. North Carolina wrapped buses in Seattle with a tar for Raleigh. A Philadelphia coffee chain printed the Amazon logo on the lattes foam.
Now it can be all about zero.
While Amazon has not officially said it, the technology giant is reaching agreement on where it is expanding, according to people who have been informed about the talks.
After 20 liberal cities, Amazon has come a long way to entice Amazon to build a second headquarters within their bounds – from the promises of huge tax incentives and land agreements to glamorous dinners with city officials – Amazon seems ready to increase its already strong presence in New York, two people said. The company is also approaching an agreement to expand to Washington's suburbs in northern Virginia, one of them said.
When officials from most of 18 other cities came in contact Tuesday, they were reluctant to answer a simple question: Was it all a waste of time? In fact, many still hoped to have a shot.
"We are in the ninth event of this process without having scored any finalists," said Aisha Glover, who helped lead the field from Newark, N.J. "It's not over until it's over".
Ten officials said they were still pursuing the Amazon, or had not heard the company yet for a decision, even though the media reported that their city was themselves. Officials said they wanted to avoid the anger of private nations' 2, after Walmart, who could still decide to open an office in their city someday.
Cities had also signed extensive non-proliferation agreements with Amazon. When Maureen Krauss, the head of economic development for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, declined to comment, he said, "I have 37 NDA at my desk."
Some officials, however, spoke of new issues about Amazon's plans, and the executives of the company did not look happy.
"Remind me of the genius that leaks information about Crystal City, VA as # HQ2 choice. You do not Crystal City, VA any favors," Mike Grella, director of economic development and policy at Amazon, tweeted on Saturday. "And stop confronting the NDA you signed like a towel that was used."
An Amazon spokesman said that Mr. Grella did not participate in the headquarters survey. The spokesman also said that the company had added more than 6,000 jobs this year to the cities that applied for the headquarters but did not make the list of finalists and that the Amazon expects similar recruitment in unsuccessful cities.
Employees from the finalist cities spent more than a year collecting thousands of pages of documents that produce slick videos and hosting Amazon officials for tours and dinners in some of the best restaurants in their area. Many proposals included billions of dollars in tax incentives. New Jersey offered tax relief of $ 7 billion. If Amazon chose Newark. The mayor of Atlanta said the city had provided more incentives to attract Amazon than it did for the Summer Olympics in 1996.
In a 218-page proposal, Boston spoke of a site as well as mass transit extensions and an "Amazon Task Force" of city officials to act as company contacts in the City Hall.
Columbus Dispatch acquired more than 1,300 document pages prepared for the Ohio City Stadium, which describes in detail "all of the size of the sewer lines in locations that threw detailed hate crimes in the city." Columbus also said that the Amazon would not need to pay real estate taxes for 15 years.
Toronto did not offer tax incentives, but told the Amazon that it would save billions of dollars because of Canada's universal health care, lower labor costs and lower total taxes. And Denver put a seat near the airport and more than $ 100 million in incentives.
The most acclaimed New York landmarks became even orange for the Amazon for one night.
In recent years, AOL founder Steve Case traveled to the country to promote the 'rise of the rest', the idea that the technological explosion would eventually leak to smaller cities in the middle of the country. But focusing on two seaside cities, Amazon may have questioned this narrative.
"In fact, it disappoints that perhaps in this environment there are not many opportunities for medium-sized cities," said Amy Liu, director of the Metropolitan Policy program at the Brookings Institution.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said Amazon's choice showed that major technology companies were still more interested in talent tanks than costs.
"The kind of people you are trying to attract is very different and global," said Zandi. "This is a very difficult thing to find in a place like Indianapolis".
Local media from the remaining cities reported Tuesday that it means losing for their homelands. "Even if the Amazon played us, Dallas can learn from HQ2's quest" was his title The Dallas Morning News report reported that the city was better with widespread growth, which "is more stable than a city with a horse."
Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner hypothesized that "Amazon's ignorance is a good thing." He wrote that the company could absorb much of the city's talent and "is one of the most insular you've ever met."
Many cities have also recruited top elected officials, business leaders and athletes to help with their offers. Todd Carmichael, managing director of La Colombe Coffee Roasters based in Philadelphia, helped pressure and said it was worth it.
"We turned the ball and did not hit it necessarily from the park, but it was great to have this opportunity," he said in an interview. "And I will never visit these cities again."