Amazon Narrows The List For HQ2. Atlanta Makes The Cut Of Top 20 Cities

Written by Dana Sanchez


The winner of Amazon’s second headquarters could be in the Eastern U.S.

Seattle-based Inc. has narrowed its field of wannabe HQ2 cities from 238 to 20, and 16 of them are in the East or Eastern U.S. Among the contenders are Atlanta, Miami, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Toronto.

The stakes are high. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a commitment to spend $5 billion and create 50,000 high paying positions in the city that becomes HQ2. The company said it was looking at metropolitan areas with 1 million people and a stable, business-friendly environment.

Atlanta winning Amazon HQ2 could mean billions of dollars in gains for Black homeowners, according to an earlier Moguldom report.

The tech hub of the Southeast, Atlanta is one of the largest majority-black metro areas in the U.S. The Southern city checks many of the boxes Amazon is looking for including strong academic institutions (Georgia Tech, Emory), relatively lower costs, mass transit, and affordable housing.

Amazon has already changed the character of its native Seattle, setting off a building boom and rising rents, Bloomberg reported:

High paying tech jobs can permanently transform a region and raise the political prospects of the leader who helped seal the deal.”

Some Seattle residents have complained that Amazon’s growth has strained the city’s transportation infrastructure,

The 20 contenders for Amazon HQ2 now include:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Toronto
  • Washington, D.C.

Amazon got 238 proposals from cities and at least one country in North America, many offering tax incentives and unique offers directed at CEO Jeff Bezos.

The 20 cities on the short list will work with Amazon over the coming months to “evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership,” the company said.

So who isn’t on the shortlist? Detroit and Puerto Rico are two of the 218 applicants that didn’t make the cut.

“This is a huge blow for Detroit and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, who built an Amazon war room where more than 40 people worked around the clock to analyze what the online retailer likes and doesn’t like,” said Michael Parrish DuDell, author of “Shark Tank: Jump Start Your Business,” according to the Washington Post.

You can find an almost-complete list here of cities that could have been contenders for Amazon HQ2, compiled by Quartz.

Amazon said it plans to make a final decision in 2018.

Amazon HQ2
David Williams/Bloomberg via Getty Images