Two Cities May Split Amazon HQ2

Three cities are Amazon finalists according to Wall Street Journal

Amazon may split the company’s HQ2 between two cities. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday afternoon that Dallas was still among the final three choices. However, later Monday night, the New York Times reported that the final two cities included New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

Stuart Fitts is a partner in the Trinity Groves Development, just across the Trinity River from Downtown Dallas.

“We know that they toured the site when they came to Dallas, multiple times I believe,” Fitts said. “I think Dallas offers a great opportunity for them on a myriad of fronts.”

Trinity Groves already has restaurants and apartments built with more apartments on the way and zoning approval for 9 million square feet of hotel and office space. Amazon has said it may need 8 million square feet for 50,000 HQ2 workers but dividing and splitting the locations could cut that requirement.

Fitts said he thought all along that more than one city might demonstrate advantages for Amazon.

“They have one in Seattle. It makes all the sense in the world for them to have one centrally located an one on the East Coast,” Fitts said.

Several publications have reported that Amazon could gain better connections with federal government officials by locating in Northern Virginia, adjacent to Washington D.C.

That, along with New York City, round out the three finalists according to the Wall Street Journal.

NBC 5 visited Seattle last year and found soaring housing costs and increasing traffic congestion, much of it blamed on Amazon’s rapid expansion there.

Seattle tech investor Matt McIlwain with Madrona Venture Group said then that benefits to Seattle outweighed the problems and that Dallas stood a good chance to compete for Amazon.

“There’s a lot of good innovation going on in Dallas, and in Texas,” McIlwain said. “Texas is one of the pro-business, hospitable states. I think that will also matter.”

McIlwain also predicted last year that the nationwide search for a new HQ2 location might produce more than one location Amazon would find desirable for landing the best talent.

“Maybe there’s 2 or 3 cities that they put major presences in rather than call any one HQ2. They just have multiple cities where their major substantial presence is. They partner with those cities as centers of excellence,” McIlwain said.  

Other Dallas locations mentioned as possible Amazon locations include Victory Park, land adjacent to a proposed high speed rail station on Riverfront Boulevard and the former Dallas Morning News building on Young Street with vacant property around it.

Fitts said many Dallas locations could benefit from Amazon even if they don’t turn out the be Amazon’s actual location because other companies that serve Amazon would also require office space and housing for workers.

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