VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Amazon will split its second headquarters between Long Island City in New York and Crystal City in northern Virginia, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The official decision expected later Tuesday will end an intense competition between North American cities to win the Amazon bid and its promise of 50,000 new jobs — and dash Toronto’s hopes of securing one of the locations.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in September that the city — the only Canadian contender to make the short list — was uniquely positioned to host the company because of its diversity and comparatively lower business costs.

READ MORE: Vancovuer Island mayor looking to bring Amazon headquarters to B.C.

Tory had said that Toronto submitted a bid that highlighted “the fact that the Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce.”

“There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength. We made that point to Amazon in our pitch and in person when they visited us here,” he said in a statement to The Canadian Press in September.

Some locations tried to stand out with stunts, but Amazon made clear that it really wanted incentives, like tax breaks and grants. Amazon also had sought to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people, among other criteria.

The company received 238 proposals before narrowing the list to 20 in January.

READ MORE: Amazon to expand Vancouver tech hub

Amazon had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and have room to expand. It also wanted to able to attract top technical talent and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as eight million square feet in the next decade.

Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.

Rapidly growing Long Island City, in the borough of Queens, is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.

In setting off the flurry of interest, Amazon said it could spend more than US$5 billion to build its second headquarters over the next 17 years. The two locations combined would be about the same size as the company’s current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and houses 40,000 employees.

The company isn’t leaving Seattle, and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the new headquarters will be “a full equal” to its current home.

The extra space will help the rapidly growing company.

Launched in 1995 as a site that mostly sells books, Amazon now produces movies, makes voice-activated Echo devices, runs the Whole Foods grocery chain, offers online services to businesses and designs its own brands of furniture, clothing and diapers. Its ambitions are wide: It launched a company to lower health care costs for its employees and Amazon’s corporate partners in the venture, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.

Amazon’s employee total has ballooned to more than 600,000 worldwide, and that’s expected to increase as it builds more warehouses across the country to keep up with online orders. The company recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $15 an hour, but the employees at its second headquarters will be paid a lot more — Amazon says they’ll make an average of more than $100,000 a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Merritt Centennials split thrilling double-header

One game ended in overtime, the other in a high-scoring final period. Both were a treat for fans.

In Photos: Salmon Arm residents pay tribute

Residents gather at cenotaph for Remembrance Day ceremony

Sockeye salmon return to Okanagan Lake for first time in decades

Restoration of fish ladder damaged more than 50 years ago enables return

Shuswap family makes tradition of tending to grave of fallen soldier

Grandchildren learn importance of Remembrance Day while paying their respect

Community meeting will discuss crime in South Shuswap communities

The meeting will be held on Nov. 27 in Blind Bay.

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

In Photos: Sicamous remembers

A crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered at Sicamous cenotaph on Nov. 11.

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Coquihalla, Okanagan Connector drivers cautioned due to freezing rain

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Summerland council considers change to meeting schedule

Proposal calls for afternoon session and 6 p.m. evening session for regular meetings

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Most Read