Dallas is among the final 20 locations that Amazon is considering to house its second headquarters, but it’s not clear whether that represents the city itself or somewhere else in the North Texas region.
The Seattle-based corporation winnowed its list down from 238 to 20, leaving itself choices from basically every section of the country: both coasts are represented, as are major cities in the south and Midwest. Texas has two finalists in Austin and Dallas. Houston didn’t make it, and San Antonio made a public and principled stand in declining to play Amazon’s game for tax breaks. The company first solicited pitches in September, melding reality TV tactics and municipal boosterism in a way the country has never seen. Tucson mailed Amazon a cactus. There were more than a few goofy videos, including Frisco’s, which roped in Jerry Jones and an Alexa gag.
We’re competing with other major metro areas like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, but also with smaller up-and-comers like Nashville and Raleigh (part of a MSA that snuck by DFW in a recent economic study by the Milken Institute think tank). The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, said about a dozen Amazon higher-ups had been involved in the selection of the cities. We don’t know much else, except that the company says it will now be in more direct contact with the final cities.
Wherever the company chooses to plant its second outpost will likely be changed forever—the company expects to sink $5 billion into construction and employ up to 50,000 people. Because the private Dallas Regional Chamber has handled our pitch, we haven’t seen what type—if any—of tax abatements cities in North Texas have offered. But we know a little about some of our competition. Newark offered Amazon $7 billion to build HQ2 there. Chicago is willing to write off $1.32 billion in employee income tax, and suggested prime real estate in the city’s core. Boston would treat Amazon like its own municipal department, hiring city workers to focus solely on the company’s relations with the city.
Amazon has said that it preferred regional pitches, so it’s probably safe to say any of the cities that have attracted major corporate relocations in recent years are on the table.
Here’s the full list, in alphabetical order:
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Md.
- New York
- Northern Virginia
- Washington, D.C.