A report by the Washington Post over the weekend has already-hyperventilating finalists for Amazon’s HQ2 reaching for paper bags. According to the article, Northern Virginia appears to have the inside track on winning the top prize amid reports of prime real estate being pulled off the market in Crystal City, VA, and officials potentially readying for a public announcement soon after the mid-term election.
For its part, Amazon has attempted to tamp down the speculation, its director of economic development going so far as to tweet that such reports could actually work against Northern Virginia. But the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post is causing a bit of head-scratching curiosity.
The Post article was followed by a Wall Street Journal article late yesterday that Amazon intended to split HQ2 between two locations, followed by a New York Times article citing New York City (Queens, to be exact) and the aforementioned Virginia locale as the two winners. Other reports had Dallas on the short list. (At this point we’re guessing Dallas has probably skipped the paper bags in search of something stronger.)
The New York Times reports that Amazon’s largest U.S. workforce locations outside of Seattle are New York City and the D.C. area. If everything plays out described, perhaps some of this was more of a foregone conclusion than many suspected or wanted to believe. Nonetheless, all of this leads to one of our long-standing suspicions about this process: While there may be only one – or perhaps now, two – HQ2 winners, the “losing” finalists may very well have been auditioning for different pieces of the expansion pie as Amazon continues to grow other parts of its business throughout the country.
Of course, until Amazon announces its final decision, the speculation will continue and those paper bags will continue to get a workout.