Amazon creates list of potential locations for new headquarters

Devan Fink, Online Editor-in-Chief

After months of anticipation, electronic commerce giant Amazon announced in mid-January that Northern Virginia; Montgomery County, Md.; and Washington, D.C. are among the twenty cities the company is considering for their second headquarters. With three cities in the greater metropolitan area, some consider D.C. to be the odds-on favorite to win the bid for the project, which is known as “HQ2.”

Locations pitched to Amazon include a site near Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a site on the Fairfax County-Loudoun County line in Northern Virginia, near Dulles Airport.

There are major issues that Amazon moving here would make worse, primarily infrastructure,” Adam Rizzoli (’21) said. “The roads to here are crowded during rush hour. More jobs in here could make this issue worse and make commutes even longer.”

Over 200 cities submitted bids before the Oct. 19 deadline. The list was pared down to 20 on Jan. 18. Nineteen cities are based in the United States, fourteen cities are in the Eastern Time Zone while another four in the Central Time Zone. Amazon has said that it would like to expand to the East Coast because its main headquarters is in Seattle, Wash.

The second headquarters is expected to hire as many as 50,000 future employees from the surrounding area, including managers, software engineers, accountants and legal and administration workers.

“I think you would find some people switching jobs [to go work for Amazon],” AP Economics teacher Tracey Jolley said. “I also think the company would draw from places that are going through negative growth, or possibly places where they are increasing taxes like in New York. A lot of people have come from different areas because of the job opportunities and due to taxes.”

Amazon has connections to Washington D.C. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013, and some experts believe that he would like his second headquarters close to this business interest.

“Because it is Washington D.C., and you have a lot of lobbyists, you are going to find that the political influence would be really good for Amazon,” Jolley said. “It would allow them to be close by for their political interests and their business interests at the same time.”

Amazon has seen rapid growth over the past five years, seeing its stock increase over 500 percent from about $250 per share to $1400. The company is valued at nearly $700 billion, making it the fourth most valuable company in the world.

“Amazon has grown so large that I believe this is a good move,” Sammy Thompson (’19) said. “The creation of a second headquarters would also increase Amazon’s influence throughout the country.”

Amazon was named the “preferred shopping website” of 41 percent of teenagers, according to a survey by investment bank Piper Jaffray in 2016.

“[Amazon] makes it very easy to get whatever I need without going to the store,” Thompson said. “I have found that everything on Amazon is much cheaper [than at an actual store].”