NEW YORK (AP) — After a yearlong search for a second home, Amazon is now reportedly looking to build offices in two cities instead of one, a surprise move that could still have a major impact on the communities it ultimately selects.
Virginia officials and some state lawmakers were recently briefed by the head of the state’s economic development office that Amazon was considering splitting up its second headquarters, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Officials in Virginia believe there’s a strong likelihood Amazon will pick Crystal City in northern Virginia as one of its sites, but the company has not said anything definitive, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak on the record.
One of the other areas the online retail giant is considering is New York’s Long Island City, according to a source familiar with the talks. Across the East River from midtown Manhattan, Long Island City is a longtime industrial and transportation hub that has become a fast-growing neighborhood of riverfront high-rises and redeveloped warehouses, with an enduring industrial foothold and burgeoning arts and tech scenes.
Amazon has been tight-lipped about the process and declined to comment on the latest news. There’s been intense competition to win over the company, with some throwing around billions of dollars in tax incentives. Amazon kicked off its hunt for a second headquarters in September 2017, initially receiving 238 proposals before narrowing the list to 20 in January.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo met two weeks ago with Amazon officials in his New York City offices, according to the source, who was not authorized to discuss the negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity. Cuomo offered to travel to Amazon’s Seattle hometown to continue talks, the source said.
On Tuesday, Cuomo told reporters that Amazon is looking at Long Island City, but didn’t say if it was a finalist. He said winning over Amazon would give an economic boost to the entire state, and joked that he was willing to change his name to “Amazon Cuomo” to lure the company.