Amazon Plans To Open Second Headquarters With 50000 Jobs
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Amazon has been on a tear in recent months. It just closed a high-profile deal to buy the grocery chain Whole Foods. It’s working to fulfill a pledge of hiring a hundred thousand more people in the U.S. And now Amazon says it will open a second headquarters in a new city. NPR’s Alina Selyukh joins us with details of this plan. And, Alina, what exactly is Amazon looking to build?
ALINA SELYUKH, BYLINE: So Amazon’s campus in Seattle – let’s take that first. It’s kind of legendary. It’s massive, more than 8 million square feet in the heart of the city. It’s towering and elaborate. They’re building a park under a dome, for example. And the company often uses it to test new concepts like a shop where you get charged for purchases automatically through sensors rather than having to go through a checkout register. So now Amazon says they want to build another campus somewhere in North America. They’re calling it HQ2. And they say it would be a, quote, “full equal” to the Seattle headquarters.
SIEGEL: What does that mean for cities that might be interested in attracting this kind of business?
SELYUKH: Amazon is essentially asking cities, states, provinces across North America to bid for this opportunity. The company has a pretty detailed list of what they’re looking for in a site. It should be not too far from an international airport, close to a major highway, accessible by mass transit. They’re looking for metro areas with more than 1 million people, though not necessarily like a city center location. In essence, somewhere where people will want to live and work if they’re employed by a massive global tech company.
SIEGEL: Well, obviously the attraction of having a giant corporation like Amazon in your city is presumably the promise of new jobs, investment. Is this what Amazon is offering cities?
SELYUKH: That’s exactly it. Amazon’s release has this detailed math on their operation in Seattle. And they have tallied that since 2010, the company has added $38 billion to Seattle’s economy. And there are 40,000 people who work on that campus. So Amazon is saying this new location could create as many as 50,000 new, well-paying jobs and more than $5 billion in capital investment just in the first 15, 17 years.