The Bulletin

NYT: Northern Virginia seen as increasingly likely contender for Amazon HQ2

By: - October 18, 2018 4:36 pm
Virginia Mercury

The New York Times put the spotlight Thursday on Northern Virginia’s Crystal City as the most likely contender for Amazon’s much sought-after second headquarters, a project that promises 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment.

Beyond releasing a list of 20 finalists, Amazon has remained steadfastly silent on its plans, saying it will announce its decision by the end of the year. So what makes people think think Northern Virginia has moved to the top of the list?

Citing increasingly confident analysts, investors and even gamblers, the Times reports:

  • “Northern Virginia is home to Amazon’s cloud computing division’s ‘largest and fastest-growing office outside of Seattle.'”
  • “Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, already owns the biggest newspaper and the largest mansion in Washington, and his ties to the city have long been a reason that the region tops most lists predicting HQ2’s result.”
  • “Choosing the area would put Amazon in the backyard of lawmakers just as talk about the company’s labor practices and potential antitrust regulation is picking up.”
  • “Virginia is seen as more business-friendly, with low regulation and taxes, according to an annual ranking from Chief Executive magazine that’s popular with site selectors.”
  • “The region is home to one of the most educated work forces in the country.”
  • “Amazon already has a growing presence, with more than 2,500 employees in corporate and technical roles, like lobbyists in Washington and engineers at data centers in the Virginia suburbs serving government contracts.”
  • And it’s on the Metro and near Reagan and Dulles airports.

The Times reports Crystal City does have a few things working against it, questioning whether the region is “hip enough for the employees Amazon wants to attract.” But at the same time, the paper reports that a single developer owns most of the land, making it relatively quick and easy to prop up a major corporate headquarters.


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Ned Oliver
Ned Oliver

Ned, a Lexington native, has been a fulltime journalist since 2008, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was named Virginia's outstanding journalist for 2020 by the Virginia Press Association.