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Amazon wants another US headquarters. Could it be in your city?

By Kate Irby

kirby@mcclatchy.com

September 07, 2017 10:48 AM

Leave it to Amazon to streamline a search for new housing.

The company announced on Twitter Thursday that it was looking for a second headquarters in the U.S. – its current sole headquarters is in Seattle – and it’s now accepting proposals.

“We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle,” the proposal website reads. “In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

By “high-paying jobs,” Amazon officials said that meant positions making $100,000 or more.

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The company isn’t just blowing smoke, either. Amazon currently occupies 19 percent of all office space in Seattle, where its presence is more than twice as large as any other company in any other U.S. city, according to the Seattle Times. It occupies more space than the next top 40 employers in the city combined.

Amazon estimates that its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy.

So where could this new headquarters go? Amazon didn’t list any preferences for specific cities, but did give some details on what it’s looking for, including:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

Some suggestions for their campus included:

  • An urban or downtown campus
  • A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
  • A development-prepped site

“We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline,” the proposal requirements read.

It wants the site to be within 30 miles of the major population center, within 45 minutes to an international airport and no more than one or two miles from a major highway. It needs to have at least 500,000 square feet for the initial build but be capable of 8 million square feet beyond 2027.

Of course, the speculation has already started. Some leading contenders include other tech hubs, such as Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, DC, Baltimore, Boston and Raleigh.

As Amazon opens the search for HQ2, these are the top Next in Tech cities

according to a @CushWake index pic.twitter.com/cQuRTXDt11

— Deirdre Bosa (@dee_bosa) September 7, 2017

The race to land Amazon's 2nd HQ begins. Leading contenders will be other tech hubs. https://t.co/O0qTrd8KUX pic.twitter.com/1twU6MFx0M

— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) September 7, 2017

This is interesting. Detroit? Dallas? Raleigh? NoVA? https://t.co/BmDb3n57ZR

— Indraneel Purohit (@indraneel24) September 7, 2017

The deadline for applications is Oct. 19.