NEWARK, NJ - Amazon today announced its picks (yes plural) for its second headquarters, and it wasn’t Newark.
The corporate giant selected Long Island City and Arlington, Va. for the company's new headquarters. The company also selected Nashville for a new operations center, which will handle fulfillment and transportation.
Newark was one of 20 finalists named by the company earlier this year for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka today said that "real estate professionals" have been saying that other corporations have been taking a look at Newark and are "strongly considering" coming since the city made the short list.
"The attention that Amazon brought to Newark by keeping us under consideration down to the wire greatly helped us showcase our city’s unprecedented progress and attractiveness to technology and other businesses," Baraka said in a statement.
He later added: “News that Newark was a finalist highlighted our key advantages: proximity to New York City at a more affordable cost, access to mass transportation, a talent pool fed by half a dozen colleges and an internet infrastructure that allows Newark to offer the fastest and broadest free outdoor Wi-Fi in the country, development opportunities including land with riverfront and park views, and our diversity, a large African-American and Hispanic population."
The news wasn’t exactly a shocker to those who have been following media reports in the last week or so. Anonymous sources have been telling new organizations that Amazon was eyeing both Virginia and New York City for HQ2.
Amazon expects to create 25,000 high-paying jobs in each location for its new headquarters. The operations center in Nashville is expected to generate 5,000 jobs.
Locations across the nation have been vying for the company’s selection because the company expects to invest billions wherever its second headquarters ended up. Newark offered $2 billion in tax incentives to any company that intends to create at least 30,000 new full-time jobs and make a capital investment of $3 billion. The state also offered a tax break up to $5 billion.
The tax incentives Newark offered could apply to any large business, not just Amazon. Mars, a candy company, plans to bring its corporate headquarters for M&Ms back to Newark, the city has said.
Amazon will receive a $1.525 billion tax incentive in Long Island City, and $573 million for setting up shop in Virginia, the company said. The company will also receive up to $102 million in tax breaks for its operations center in Nashville.
“The City of Newark came out of the Amazon competition as a winner," said Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, who represents Newark. "While Newark would have been the best location for Amazon’s new H2Q, I am extremely proud of all the work and effort that my hometown did in becoming a finalist. This was a highly competitive endeavor and the City of Newark demonstrated it can go toe-to-toe with any major city in the country in attracting companies such as Amazon."
Gov. Phil Murphy today said that even though Newark wouldn't be getting HQ2, the city's proximity to Queens means "we're certainly going to benefit."
"Regardless of today's announcement, Newark is undoubtedly stronger and has benefited tremendously from the spotlight it has been under for more than a year," Murphy said in a statement. "New business inquiries are up significantly. Because of our collaborative, all-in effort, now everyone knows that not only is Newark a city on the rise, but that New Jersey’s cities have the tools to be homes for leaders in the global innovation-driven economy."
The two new locations in Virginia and New York City will join the company's first headquarters, which is in Seattle.
The 20 finalist cities that were selected by Amazon in January were: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Montgomery County, MD; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; New York City, NY; Northern Virginia, VA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh, NC; Toronto ON; and Washington D.C.