It’s about to be official: New York City and Crystal City will soon be named the lucky winners of Jeff Bezos’ golden tickets.
More than one year and an innumerable amount of free publicity later, Amazon’s planned $5 billion HQ2 will be split among the two cities, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. The e-commerce giant is expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday.
The competition that saw 238 cities across North America vie to become the site of the 50,000-person office kicked off on Sept. 7, 2017.
What followed was months of speculation and reports of under-the-radar assessments and site visits by Amazon representatives. The idea that a city in close proximity to Washington, D.C. would be chosen became a popular prediction by analysts. Last week, the New York Times reported that Amazon would split its HQ2 between Crystal City, a southwest neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, the closest Queens neighborhood to Manhattan.
The internal team responsible for developing and managing Amazon’s corporate offices is shockingly small. That’s particularly true considering Amazon occupies 19 percent of Seattle’s office stock alone, and is led by real estate chief John Schoettler, a source with knowledge of the company’s real estate teams told The Real Deal in May. Schoettler’s entire team, which manages the company’s warehouses and retail properties, numbers fewer than 100, the source said.
The search for the site of HQ2 garnered criticism among the public and city officials across the country for Amazon’s request for tax breaks. Among them was Newark, New Jersey, which offered the company whose valuation briefly passed $1 trillion in early September about $1 billion worth of incentives. It was part of a $7 billion package the state was prepared to hand over.
One anonymous group compared the battle for HQ2 as a “Hunger Games”-style death match.
In the spring, Zillow Group study showed that all of the shortlisted cities would experience increases in rent if Amazon moved in. Nashville, Denver and Los Angeles were cited as cities that would see the largest hikes directly attributable to the e-commerce giant, with gains of at 2.4 percent, 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.