Amazon is in the advanced stages of placing its second headquarters in Northern Virginia, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, as the retail giant closes in on a self-imposed deadline to make the closely watched decision.
Separately, sources told CNBC that Amazon and local officials had a “very productive” and “very long” conference call on Friday. A potential incentive package may include a “very generous” transportation incentive to alleviate traffic fears, as well as educational aspects to ensure Amazon has a pipeline to a skilled workforce.
These sources told CNBC that a final decision is “close” and may come down to Northern Virginia or Austin, Texas — or perhaps a split between both cities.
Amazon declined to respond to CNBC’s request for comment, but a spokesperson said the company “remain[ed] committed to making a final decision before the end of the year.”
Making the decision 'with your heart'
As the Internet retail giant continues to assess 20 locations on its shortlist for its second headquarters ahead of its year-end deadline, CEO Jeff Bezos said this week that the decision is ultimately one you make “with your heart.”
In an on-stage interview in New York on Thursday with journalist and author Walter Isaacson, Bezos did not leave any hints about which of the cities on his shortlist he is leaning toward for HQ2. But he clarified that after Amazon has all the data to back up its options, in the end the decision will come down to a gut feeling.
“Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data,” Bezos said. “[T]he best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data, but then you make that decision with your heart.”
Over the past few months, Amazon executives have reportedly revisited several of the locations on its shortlist, including Newark, New Jersey, New York City and Chicago, according to an October report in The Wall Street Journal.
The list below are the 20 locations currently in the running:
- Austin, Texas
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Md.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Newark, N.J.
- New York City
- Northern Virginia
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Washington, D.C.
The Post’s full report can be found on its website.