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Amazon crowd-sources new HQ location, Bezos tells mayors to woo him

Hey Jeff, do you know the way to San Jose? Or, er, Austin?

Amazon has gone full "The Bachelor" in its search for a city to host a second corporate headquarters.

The mail-order retail giant said on Thursday that the "HQ2" facility, wherever it may land, would host up to 50,000 employees and serve as the secondary base of operations to its existing Seattle headquarters.

Amazon is looking to spend up to $5bn of its own money to get the new campus built, though it is also hoping the host city will be "creative" about helping to secure the real estate.

"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," says Jeff Bezos. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs."

With the promise of jobs and money, Amazon has also released its wish list for the qualities it wants in its new home-away-from-home. Not surprisingly, a friendly tax plan and perks for employees are high up on the list.

To be precise, Amazon is seeking:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people.
  • A stable and business-friendly environment [tax breaks].
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent [no boring cities, in other words. Sorry, Indianapolis].
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options [we're pretty sure this means Amazon wants a big plot of free land].

Bezos also said his company will have a preference for a city that can put the new HQ in or near its downtown area and allow for a similar building layout to the Seattle facility.

"Amazon expects to hire new teams and executives in HQ2, and will also let existing senior leaders across the company decide whether to locate their teams in HQ1, HQ2 or both," Amazon said.

"The company expects that employees who are currently working in HQ1 can choose to continue working there, or they could have an opportunity to move if they would prefer to be located in HQ2."

Amazon did not say when it expects to open the new campus. ®

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