Amazon Decides Locations for HQ2

New York and Virginia Have Been Selected


Cliff Owen/AP

Crystal City, VA. is one of the cities Amazon’s new headquarters will be in.

Janet Han, Editor

Amazon has quickly been taking over the e-commerce world, with a rapidly increasing array of services and fulfillment centers to make online shopping faster and easier than ever. The original headquarters, Seattle, has benefited greatly- with over 40,000 jobs created in about 33 buildings. The company is the city’s largest employer, contributing $38 billion to the city’s economy between 2010 and 2016 (Associated Press).


However, there have been considerable negatives as well. The costs of housing has skyrocketed, doubling over the past five years. Meanwhile, the constant noise and disturbance of construction has become regular, as Amazon continues to create new buildings and take over the city. Traffic plagues anyone who dares to enter the busy downtown areas, as may the fact that Amazon’s influence is visible nearly everywhere.


Regardless of the harms, however, the economic benefits of having Amazon set up a headquarters in the city have been undeniable. Hence, it was no surprise that cities around the world jumped at the opportunity to submit a proposal to be the home of the second headquarters during a public contest that lasted for over a year. Overall, over 238 candidates applied- vying for the chance to revitalize their cities.


After much public speculation and discussion, the company has unexpectedly chosen not one, but two locations: Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb (The Wall Street Journal). Both of these locations were major contenders because of the high number of Amazon employees already working in them. In particular, analysts across the country pointed to Crystal City as one of the most likely choices because of its “good transit, diverse residents, a friendly business climate and a single developer with a big chunk of land” (Citi). The East Coast in general was expected to be selected because of the number of metropolitan areas that exist, particularly with the high populations that would offer the most potential employees for Amazon.


The future bodes well for the two cities, as Amazon has already reported plans to invest over $5 billion over the next two decades in their new headquarters, as well as to hire up to 50,000 full-time employees with an average salary of more than $100,000. Hopefully, these new jobs will serve as opportunities for residents to become employed and for the cities to develop as a whole. Already, the chosen cities are planning ahead to work with Amazon: improving public transportation to overcome traffic, creating new schools, and focusing on maintaining affordable housing (The Washington Post).

All in all, the hope is that these new headquarters will become a major benefit to both Queens and Crystal City. Sarah Chen (11) believes that they will be, as “Amazon’s influence is already so well established.” Seattle’s struggles have provided the leaders of both cities an idea of what to plan for, while its successes have raised hope and excitement.