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Contrary to the weekend reports that Amazon was planning to choose Crystal City, Virginia, as the home of its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2, this morning all signs and stories point to Amazon actually choosing two locations and splitting the new headquarters between Crystal City and Long Island City, New York, in the borough of Queens.

If this turns out to be the case, it would put the two new headquarters locations across the Potomac from Washington, DC, and across the East River from Manhattan - virtually adjacent to two of the nation’s largest power centers.

The New York Times writes this morning that “Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.” The story goes on to say that “the need to hire tens of thousands of high-tech workers has been the driving force behind the search, leading many to expect it to land in a major East Coast metropolitan area … If Amazon goes ahead with two new sites, it is unclear whether the company would refer to both of the locations as headquarters or if they would amount to large satellite offices.

“Picking multiple sites would allow it to tap into two pools of talented labor and perhaps avoid being blamed for all of the housing and traffic woes of dominating a single area. It could also give the company greater leverage in negotiating tax incentives, experts said.”

When Amazon announced its HQ2 search, it promised that the winning community would see the addition of some 50,000 jobs and an investment by Amazon of about $5 billion.

Amazon has not commented on the report.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo didn’t deny the story when asked by reporters while on a campaign stop in his re-election bid.

“We’ve put together a very strong incentive package, and we’ve had great meetings,” he said. “It’s been very positive. And anything else I can think of that’ll get us over the top—anything they want named Amazon. I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes, because it would be a great economic boost.”
KC's View:
That’s a pretty funny line from Cuomo, who I ordinarily don’t think of as being a funny guy.

An irony here. Both Cuomo and his father, the legendary Mario Cuomo, both were born in Queens … and a deal like this could go a long way toward making Queens as cool as Brooklyn. Which would be quite something all by itself.

There’s at least a possibility that this story could take a couple of turns before Amazon finally makes its formal announcement. It also is sort of funny that after all this time and effort, Amazon essentially could end up opening two really large satellite offices as opposed to a second headquarters, while compiling a ton of information about places and governments that will be amenable to future expansion, offering infrastructure that will support a progressive 21st century company, and featuring the kinds of cultures that its employees will find to be welcoming.

Pretty good for a year’s work.