WTF?! Amazon may have just pulled off the ultimate bait and switch, shopping around a second headquarters that'll bring 50,000 new jobs in an effort to see which city offers the best incentives, then only delivering a campus that is half the size of what it promised. We're keeping a close eye on this one to see how it all plays out in the coming days and weeks.
Amazon’s yearlong search for the ideal location to build its second headquarters in North America is nearing completion but the outcome is far from what was initially promised.
The e-commerce giant elicited interest from dozens of potential host cities with the promise of hiring as many as 50,000 full-time employees and investing more than $5 billion into the construction project. The second headquarters was said to be a full equal to the current campus in Seattle.
Needless to say, having Amazon in your backyard would be a huge economic get for any city lucky enough to land the deal. Unsurprisingly, state and local governments are offering up plenty of incentives (tax breaks) in an effort to lure in Amazon.
The problem is that Amazon is reportedly no longer standing beside its original promise.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The New York Times that Amazon has shifted gears and is now finalizing plans to build two new headquarters, one in Queens and another in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia. Collectively, Amazon will still hire a total of 50,000 new employees.
The motivation behind the split headquarters is said to be Amazon’s desire to hire the best tech talent. Pulling talent from two major cities means there’s more potential candidates to choose from.
If it comes to fruition, it’ll be a shady move on Amazon’s part. The company pitched its second headquarters to potential host cities as a single location and received incentives based on those stats. Delivering a facility that is only half as large as promised while still expecting the same tax breaks just seems dishonest. Amazon set the terms to get favorable incentives, then changed the plan.
Of course, this won’t really matter much as no city in their right mind would complain and risk disqualifying themselves from consideration. Even bringing 25,000 jobs in would be a big haul.