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October 20, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Amazon HQ2 list of 20 finalists includes Hudson Valley in NYC regional bid

Amazon this morning released a list of 20 cities that are finalists for its much sought after second North American headquarters, which includes a New York City regional bid.

While only New York City is named directly in the list, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company is considering a bid that includes New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

Then-County Executive Robert Astorino takes special delivery of his speech via a drone prior to his press conference on Sept. 26 making a pitch for Amazon’s second headquarters. Photo by Ryan Deffenbaugh

The company received 238 proposals from cities and regions throughout North America last year after announcing plans for the second headquarters. Local government officials in the U.S., Canada and Mexico were likely enticed by the online commerce giant’s promise of 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment.

In October, New York’s economic development arm, Empire State Development, announced it had split its bids to Amazon into four regions: Buffalo and Rochester; Syracuse, Utica and the Mohawk Valley; the Albany Capital Region; and New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson.

Amazon’s list eliminated all of New York’s entries except for the New York City metropolitan region. While state officials have remained quiet on specifics of its proposals to Amazon, the October announcement said each submission is “supported by a full complement of state incentives.” That includes Excelsior tax credits tied to potential job creation, along with assistance in developing of office space, workforce development, educational programming and research collaborations.

Former Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino made a flashy presentation in September when he announced the county would bid for the headquarters. In a press conference in front of the County Center in White Plains, Astorino had his prepared remarks flown in by drone to emulate Amazon’s experiments with drone deliveries.

Related: Westchester tries to stand out in crowded field to woo Amazon

City officials in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon, meanwhile, promised to bid separately.

New York City’s bid included four neighborhoods: the West Side of Manhattan; Lower Manhattan; Long Island City in Queens; and an area known as the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which includes Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Ultimately each individual bid had to be sent to the state economic development office, which sent final proposals to Amazon using the regional approach.

Bids from Connecticut economic development officials focused on the Hartford and Stamford regional areas. Neither was listed as a finalist.

Newark in New Jersey is a finalist, where state officials have dangled $7 billion worth of tax incentives.

Amazon has said it’s looking for a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, a stable business environment and an urban, or suburban, location with the ability to attract strong talent. Other factors such as walkability and access to major highways and an international airport matter as well.

The company requires 500,000 square feet of modern office space available in 2018 and another 7.5 million square feet within a decade.

Amazon expects to make a decision sometime this year. Here’s the full list of finalists:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Nashville
  • Newark
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh
  • Toronto
  • Washington D.C.