Toronto officially loses Amazon's coveted HQ2 bid

Nov 13 2018, 9:42 pm

The results are in.

The year-long public contest that started with 238 candidates has ended in a surprise split of Amazon’s HQ2, and Toronto, unfortunately, didn’t make the final cut.

This past January, a short list of 20 cities being seriously considered was released by the company.

Toronto was, of course, one of the cities shortlisted, and was the only Canadian city to make it to this round. Then in April, officials with the company made whirlwind visits as part of an evaluation process of the shortlisted cities.

Toronto continually stood out as a top contender for the bid, beating out the likes of other Canadian cities and was in the final running alongside Denver, Virginia, Atlanta, Nashville, and New York City.

And now in a surprise move, the eCommerce giant has decided to move forward with two HQ2 cities, dividing the second headquarters evenly between New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington.

The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America.

Additionally, Amazon said that it has selected Nashville for a new “Center of Excellence” for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities.

The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

“These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

This is a move that would allow Amazon to recruit from two strong pipelines of talent, not to mention it would ease potential transit and housing issues that would be caused by adding tens of thousands of workers to one area.

Despite the outcome, Mayor John Tory has always been proud of Toronto’s progress in the competition.

At a press conference last week, Tory said, “I’ve always looked at this as a huge feather in our cap to get into the final list of 20. And I think throughout I’ve always said that it’s always been a bigger hill perhaps for us to climb because we are in a different country. Although there are advantages to that too.”

Tory also said the city already got its pay-off for its Amazon bid, as the proposal it posted online has been downloaded more than 17,000 times.


With files from Kenneth Chan. 

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