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It looks like Amazon is leaning towards Washington DC for HQ2, based on a ton of clues

September 11th, 2018 at 6:17 PM
Amazon HQ2

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is set to headline a meeting on Thursday of The Economic Club of Washington DC, a city that just so happens to be increasingly talked about as the probable choice for Amazon’s HQ2, based on a ton of clues that keep piling up.

Speculation about where the e-commerce giant will decide to put down stakes for its second US headquarters has ramped up considerably in recent days, with the announcement of the winning location seemingly pretty imminent. Conventional wisdom is that the announcement is coming anytime now, certainly by the end of the year, and we’re already passed the one-year mark since the search got under way.

Bezos reportedly won’t have an announcement to make on Thursday, according to a Tuesday afternoon report from The Washington Post. Intriguingly, though, Amazon’s board of directors will be in town, too, leading to speculation that Jeff wants to show off the city to them ahead of a formal announcement.

It’s not yet clear if there will be a formal meeting of the board while in DC. Meanwhile, among some of the other clues making DC seem likely a likely choice:

Amazon has just joined the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce as a paying member. The chamber’s president confirmed it to the Washington Business Journal, which could be indicative of the company getting all the pieces in place related to the home of its new headquarters.

At the end of July, the Puget Sound Business Journal also spotted an Amazon job listing that sought a DC-based economic development manager — a job the company doesn’t appear to have posted in any other city, according to the paper. “The job posting says Amazon is looking for someone with experience in economic incentives, which will likely play a major factor in its HQ2 project. It says the economic development manager would work directly with ‘state and community’ officials, but makes no mention of the federal government, the focus of much of Amazon’s existing D.C. workforce.”

Bezos (who, let’s not forget, personally owns The Washington Post) apparently already owns the largest home in DC, or will soon. The Post itself reported back in 2017 that Bezos had bought two mansions there, one of which he intended to turn into the largest in the city.

Let’s keep going. Business Insider has reported that of the 20 remaining HQ2 contenders believed to still be on Amazon’s short list, three of those are in the DC metro area. Fun fact: Washington DC is the only metro area with that many contenders left on the short list.

Also per BI, “Northern Virginia is attractive for tech firms due to its proximity to Data Center Alley, where 70% of the United States’ internet traffic flows through. That means more efficiency and reliability, as well as cheaper power.”

People are starting to be so convinced DC is going to be the winning locale that we’re already starting to see thinkpieces about whether or not Amazon will be good for the area. (See the Washingtonian’s “Would Amazon’s HQ2 Really Be Good for Washington?”)

One way or another, it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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