amazon second headquarters

Washington may have beaten Toronto for new Amazon headquarters

Things aren't looking great for Toronto (or almost any other city) in the frenzied, more than one-year-long race to get Amazon's second headquarters.

Information leaked to the Washington Post this week suggests that the e-commerce giant is in the "advanced stages" of placing its new HQ2 campus in Crystal City — a Northern Virginia suburb just a stone's throw from Washington, D.C.

Public and private-sector officials who spoke to The Post (on the condition of anonymity) say that discussions are already being held about which buildings Amazon will occupy in the city, and how to make the news public after November's U.S. midterm elections.

Of course, as The Post notes, Amazon may very well be having similar discussions with other finalists.

The HQ2 project, announced last September, prompted a total of 238 cities from 43 states and at least 6 provinces to bid on the chance to be Amazon's second North American home.

With some 50,000 high-paying jobs and an estimated $5 billion worth of infrastructure spending on the line, city officials have gone to great lengths in an effort to court the Seattle-based tech company.

Toronto is no exception and, despite the early predictions of some bookies, Canada's largest city became seen as a serious contender after making it onto Amazon's shortlist — one of just 20 cities to be chosen out of almost 300.

Rumours and predictions have abounded since then, but Amazon itself has been quiet about where it's at in the process of choosing a home.

What's interesting about Crystal Lake is that it didn't actually make Amazon's top 20. Rather, it's the suburb of a city (Washington, D.C.) that did.

If Amazon has yet to make a concrete choice, this could be hopeful news for smaller GTA cities like Markham, which joined Toronto in its bid for the highly sought-after HQ2 campus and really, really wants to win.

"Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a conference in New York on Thursday when asked about the project.

"As far as I know," he continued, "the best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data but then you make the decision with your heart."

So... hang tight, I guess. If the rumours are true, his company will have more to say after midterms wrap on November 6.

Lead photo by

Nick YoungsonAlpha Stock Images

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