Amazon Announces HQ2 Locations: New York City and Arlington, Virginia

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with renderings of Anable Basin

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with renderings of Anable Basin

The bulk of the tax break comes from New York City's Excelsior program, where Amazon estimates that they will receive up to $48,000 per employee over the next 10 years through the state of New York's Empire State Development Excelsior Jobs Program.

The company says it will invest $5 billion and create over 25,000 jobs in each city, for a total of over 50,000 jobs, resulting in three Amazon headquarters now in Seattle, New York City and Arlington. Finally, Amazon can also apply for New York City's Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP), which could provide them with a $3000 credit for each employee who needs to relocate to work there.

Boston and MA never submitted a formal incentive package to Amazon, according to the state, but would not have come close to the combined roughly $2 billion that NY and Virginia will dole out in exchange for half of Amazon's HQ2.

In Virginia, state representative Lee Carter warned that thousands will be priced out of their homes with the influx of high-paid tech workers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said he'd be willing to change his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to land the deal at one point, said the state should be proud for landing, "one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in USA history".

The purported cost-benefit ratio, described by Cuomo as the most lopsided in the history of economic development deals, is probably skewed by the assumption that a prime swath of Long Island City would otherwise remain underdeveloped.

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Democrat Matt Espy, who she'll face in a November 27 runoff election, said the comment had "no place in our political discourse". The state's population has the highest percentage of African-Americans of any state, 37 percent according to the last census.

Northam is calling the state's proposal to land the headquarters a "new model of economic development for the 21st century".

The split decision Tuesday by the world's largest retailer follows a frenzied competition and billions of dollars in promised tax subsidies.

Virginia plans to invest in college-level computer science and related fields along with investing $50 million over 20 years in tech education for grammar and high school students.

Business Insider reported that Amazon hopes to have its new headquarters at least partially operational by sometime next year. The firm will also open a new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, Tennessee, which will bring 5,000 jobs to the city.

Its New York location will be in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, while its Arlington offices will be located in an area called National Landing.

The headquarters in Arlington is comparable in size with the same 25,000 estimated jobs and 4 million square feet of office space with the option to expand another 4 million square feet in the future.

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But the retailer made it clear that it was tax incentives and grants that is was looking for.

The South Florida bid, submitted in October 2017, was the only one from Florida to make the Top 20, narrowed from 238 sites around the country and Canada.

Virginia will give Amazon almost $600 million, while NY will give the company roughly $1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Lina Khan, a senior fellow with the Open Markets Institute, wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday: "Amazon extracting highly favourable terms, only to halve its promise and expect those same terms, is an exercise of bargaining power that will be familiar to numerous millions of merchants reliant on Amazon's platform".

Ultimately, it did not come as a big surprise to many people that Amazon didn't choose Indianapolis, but local economist experts say there are some positive lessons to be learned.

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