The sharing of the Amazon headquarters would be half disappointment, half relief for Crystal City


Crystal City in North Virginia continues to favor attracting thousands of jobs to the Amazon as part of the planned expansion of the company, but people close to the process said they now expect 50,000 jobs to be segregated between at least two cities – a sharp change in the latter in a survey that lasted more than a year.

The possibility of dividing the project has been discussed with Virginia officials, according to three people familiar with the negotiations. Virginia officials are ready to make a statement shortly after Amazon takes its final decision, according to people close to the talks.

A person near the process said the Amazon had decided to split up and another said he was "very at the table" just a week ago. A third, close to the company, said the Amazon had been discussing split for months, but he was not sure about the final decision.

Amazon refused to comment, in addition to confirming her commitment to make a decision this year. The county of Arlington and the office of Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also refused to comment.

(The founder of Amazon Jeffrey P. Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.)

It remains unclear how many – if any – other cities still disagree. The New York Times reported on Monday that half of the project was expected to go to Long Island City, Queens. New York Commander's offices Andrew Cuomo (D) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) did not respond to requests for comments.


The Crystal City Metro Station. If Amazon split its work between two cities, it could ease concerns about local infrastructure staff. (Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post)

While much of the country focused on the midterm elections, officials from five other finalist posts, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they had signed non-proliferation agreements with the Amazon, said they had not said they had been eliminated. There were no indications that even the locations of the prefecture, Montgomery County, Md., Or Virginia, except Crystal City and the nearby Potomac Yard in Alexandria, were still under investigation.

In Dallas, Dallas Morning News's parent company submitted a regulatory filing this week, agreeing to sell the headquarters of the former headquarters of the newspaper in an agreement that would provide additional compensation if the buyer later "will enter into an Amazon agreement ".

A spokesman for the Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, who handles the city's offer, refused to comment.

The apparent decision of Amazon, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, to divide the work and not to open a second seat at the same level as Seattle's campus, angered some who said the Amazon had hatched competition between the cities only to change the midstream rules. Some said it was unfair that the company seemed to only look at sites in more affluent communities.

Amazon launched the project in autumn 2017, compiling HQ2 and issuing search criteria for a "second central office" with 50,000 jobs.

"Due to the successful growth of the Company, it now requires a second corporate headquarters in North America," says the call for proposals.

Bezos personally reiterated the scope of the project in a news release: "We expect HQ2 to be totally equal to Seattle's headquarters," he said.

The author of urban studies and academician Richard Florida described the process as "fake" that forced cities and states to "motivate".

Greg Leroy's support team based on D.C. Good Jobs First, jurisdictions that provide flat-rate subsidies to Amazon, such as promises to expand roads or transit, could pay the same amount for fewer jobs. "I think it would be very unusual if there are no promises for special offers at the table," Leros said.

Others have said that splitting makes sense for the Amazon due to the difficulty of finding 50,000 skilled workers – many of these computer engineers – in just one area. Concerns about the pressure that Amazon could have on housing, transport networks and schools could also be facilitated.

"By choosing two cities, Amazon will not increase the cost of work as much as it can by focusing its demand on a single metro area," said Heidi Learner, chief economist at Savills Studley.

"Perhaps half is good," said Mark J. Rozell, president of the Schar School of Politics and Government at George Mason University. "Many people are concerned about the excessive pressure of local resources, capacity, schools, housing costs".

In Virginia and New York, the public remains largely in the dark about what has been offered to the company, as no state has publicly made its offer. New York officials said they have not offered anything to Amazon beyond what is available to other companies, but last week they announced $ 180 million for infrastructure improvements at Long Island City – which would support Amazon's campus if move there.

After The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Amazon was close to a deal for Crystal City, said Del Lee Carter (D-Manassas) posted on Twitter: "We can not wait to find out how much public money we're putting in. And if you think the NoVA is expensive now, wait until we fill in HQ2!"

Employees in Virginia are still waiting for Amazon to make a decision this month, if not in the next few days. As soon as they arrive, the leaders in the loss of jurisdiction will be allowed to assess the time and money they put to look for 50,000 jobs, especially if they do not all end up in one place.

"I think we know for a moment that this was something they were thinking," a customs cleared official said on the split. "I would not say we feel unjust. For one thing, we've got millions in free advertising."

Meanwhile, the potential winners were preparing to do the best of the amazing series of events.

"I'm sure there will be some disappointment" if a jurisdiction had to share the project, said Stephen Fuller, regional economist at George Mason University. "Everybody goes for the house running here, and maybe it's only a double, it would still be very important, who else brings 25,000 jobs?"

Gregory Schneider and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.