Amazon narrows list of cities for 2nd HQ to 20, including Chicago

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CHICAGO -- Amazon has narrowed the list of cities its considering for its second headquarters.

Saying it would soon outgrow its Seattle headquarters, last year Amazon started looking for HQ2, as the company calls it and Chicago remains in the running.

In the competition for Amazon’s second headquarters, Chicago is still alive.

Out of 238 applications, Amazon has narrowed the list to 20 possible locations.

The competition is fierce. Amazon plans to invest $5 billion into the site and create 50,000 high-paying jobs.

Chicago moved quickly to place its bid.

Mayor Emanuel has pitched the city’s transportation, affordability and skilled workforce.

“There’s a reason companies across a spectrum of industries continue to pick Chicago four years in a row as a Number 1,” he said. “They’re looking for talent, they’re looking for connectivity, whether it’s public transit or aviation, they’re looking for neighborhoods where their employees and that families can go to school and they’re looking for the ability of a good culturally enrichment life.”

Governor Rauner supports the Chicago effort, but also hoped Amazon might look at St. Louis which would have helped downstate Illinois. But St. Louis did not make the cut.

Today, the governor called the possibility of Amazon coming to Chicago “exciting” but he’s worried Illinois’ taxes will scare them away.

“We’ve got to keep in mind Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon knows how bad taxes are,” Rauner said.

Asked about Rauner’s remakes, Mayor Emanuel fired back saying, “He’s in the middle of a campaign season, the only campaign season I have is to convince JLT, Amazon and the others to move their operations here.”

To lure Amazon here, the city and state offered tax breaks, infrastructure spending and other incentives.

Amazon will now communicate more directly with the finalists and hopes to make its pick this year.

The 20 potential cities include:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Nashville
  • Newark
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh
  • Toronto
  • Washington D.C.