Amazon has finally found its HQ2 — and apparently its HQ3.
Those lucky cities will be New York, in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, and Arlington, Virginia, in the Crystal City neighborhood, according to The Times.
It’s a bit of curveball. On the website it created when it announced the HQ2 project, in September 2017, Amazon said the purpose was to create “a full equal to our current campus in Seattle.”
With two locations splitting what the company has billed as a $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs, Amazon’s initial promise would ring hollow. Neither would be anywhere close to equal to Seattle, where Amazon says it now has more than 40,000 employees and has made $3.7 billion in capital investment.
Effectively, it would mean that Amazon won’t have a true second headquarters — something that some critics have been claiming all along.
It may have something to do with Amazon’s sensitivity to criticism that no one municipality could absorb the large impact of its HQ2 as proposed. Splitting it into two could remove some objections from local leaders — but it would also take away some of the project’s luster.
Less potential downside, in this case, also means less potential upside. New York and Arlington reportedly will get Amazon, but they won’t get HQ2. Nobody will.