Back in 2013, Amazon’s proposed design for its Seattle headquarters raised quite a ruckus, and in 2018, the speculation is equally great for the company’s second headquarters, but for competitive reasons. The company embarked upon a painstaking selection process after 238 North American cities submitted bids to become the metropolitan area that would see up to 50,000 new jobs.
Amazon wasn’t shy about stating its baseline criteria — a population higher than 1 million and an area where technical talent would gravitate — before the bids flowed in. Via the New York Times, the online retailer has narrowed the field to a shortlist of 20 finalists:
Montgomery County, Maryland
Raleigh, North Carolina
The massive wave of bids brought a number of wooing techniques to the table, including tax incentives, but in the end, the process was a tough one, according to Amazon Public Policy spokesperson Holly Sullivan while speaking to NBC. “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Sullivan said.
From here, the vetting process is expected to grow even more intense with Amazon deploying representatives to dig deeper into each city, many of which may feel the pressure to increase incentives to be chosen (Jeff Bezos totally knows what he’s doing here, right?). The company will name their final pick by the end of 2018.