Amazon Unveils Plans for “HQ2” Outside Seattle

September 7, 2017By Dan Shafer

Image Credit: 
Lori Kelley
Image Credit: Lori Kelley

Now that Amazon has released its extremely public RFP, let the wooing begin. Plan is to accommodate up to 50,000 employees.

Amazon is building a second mega-headquarters, but this time, it won’t be in Seattle.

The company announced that it plans to spend $5 billion to build a second headquarters — or “HQ2” — that could employ 50,000 people.

The release includes a Request for Proposal (RFP) that will assuredly open the door to a bidding war from state and local governments around the country vying to lure in HQ2.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, said, “We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters. Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

The company is expressing an interest in having HQ2 look a bit like HQ1 in Seattle. Listed among things that HQ2 “could be” are “an urban or downtown campus” and “a similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus.”

Regarding location, Amazon is stating a preference for “metropolitan areas with more than one million people,” of which there are currently 53 in the United States. It also is looking for “a stable and business-friendly environment,” “urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent,” and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

Within the release, Amazon touts the success of its 33-building, 8.1 million-square-foot Seattle campus that employs more than 40,000 people. “Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city’s economy overall.”

It also said that 53,000 additional jobs have been created as a result of the Seattle HQ investment, and that has resulted in an “increase in personal income by non-Amazon employees” of $17 billion.

Additional data about Amazon’s Seattle HQ:

  • Capital investment: $3.7 billion
  • Operational expenditures: $1.4 billion
  • Compensation to employees: $25.7 billion
  • Number of annual hotel nights by visiting Amazonians and guests: 233,000 (2016)
  • Amount paid into the city’s public transportation system as employees’ transportation benefit: $43 million

Amazon also is giving instructions to those responding to the RFP, which you can see here.

According to the company, “Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon – not a satellite office. 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. 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.”