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Here Are The 20 Cities Still In The Running For Amazon's Second HQ

Amazon says the second headquarters will be a "full equal" to its corporate headquarters in Seattle, Wash., shown here.

In the competition for Amazon's second headquarters, just 20 metropolitan areas remain in the running.

Last year, Amazon set off a hyper-competitive proposal process, saying that it plans to invest $5 billion in building a second headquarters that could create up to 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The Seattle-based company, which is a financial supporter of NPR, says it reviewed 238 proposals in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Here are the metropolitan areas that made the cut:

  • 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
  • Washington D.C.

Amazon said it evaluated the areas based on criteria released in its call for proposals. For example, it had a preference for "metropolitan areas with more than one million people," within a 45 minute drive of an international airport. In ten years, it wants to have 8,000,000 square feet of space to build in the area.

Many cities are also offering incentives to Amazon as part of their proposals. But as WAMU's Martin Austermuhle reports, the specifics largely remain murky: "Only a handful of the 238 cities, counties and states that submitted bids to Amazon for HQ2 have made public the details about proposed sites or incentive packages, and many have fought or denied open-records requests from the press and public."

The process also raises questions about what kind of incentives are appropriate for cities to offer a giant corporation, as NPR's Alina Selyukh has reported.

"There is a whole system in economic development that has pitted states and cities against each other for corporate relocations. Amazon just happens to be very good at it," Amy Liu, who runs the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, told Alina.

Amazon says that in addition to the benefits of jobs and investment, "construction and operation of HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

Now, Amazon says it will "dive deeper" into candidate proposals, with an ultimate decision expected in 2018.

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