Amazon Finally Settles on Two Cities for HQ2
November 13, 2018
After a yearlong search, Amazon has chosen two East Coast cities—Crystal City, Va., and Long Island City, N.Y.—to house its new headquarters. The online retail giant is expected to announce its decision on Tuesday that it’s coming to Long Island City, a neighborhood of Queens, and Crystal City, an area within Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.
The two real estate markets have already seen their housing markets rising in anticipation of the announcement. In the first seven days of November, views of listings in Long Island City surged 648 percent compared to a year ago, and views of listings in Crystal City rose 371 percent over last year, reports the real estate brokerage Redfin.
Amazon will be hiring thousands of high-tech workers and plans to bring about 50,000 employees to the two new locations. Amazon also plans to invest more than $5 billion over the next two decades in its new headquarter spots.
Amazon made the decision to split what was originally dubbed “HQ2” into two sites instead of choosing just one. “Picking multiple sites allows 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,” The New York Times reports.
Both cities are directly across from major city centers and are served by major transit systems, which Amazon had long said was an important judging criteria for its new site. Koki Adasi, a real estate professional in the Washington, D.C., area and 2018 president-elect for the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, told Forbes.com that Crystal City will see an influx into the market for those looking to rent and purchase. “This is also a very good thing for area REALTORS®,” Adasi says. “It’s a tight market and if demand goes up, inventory will decline, and most likely prices will rise.” The median home price in Crystal City is just over $600,000, according to realtor.com®.
As for New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said Amazon coming to the city would be “the single biggest economic development deal in the history of New York City,” de Blasio said. The median home price in New York is currently $1.1 million; it's $600,000 in Queens County, according to realtor.com®.
Amazon could have some competition: Google is also planning an expansion into New York. Alphabet Inc., Google's holding company, plans to add office space for more than 12,000 new workers, doubling its current staff over the next decade, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Amazon made its final decision for its two new headquarter sites after reviewing 238 applications from cities all vying to be the chosen spot. Amazon will continue to operate its headquarters from Seattle. Seattle has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, and some housing analysts point to Amazon as the cause. Amazon has about 45,000 employees in its Seattle headquarters.
The Wall Street Journal reports that other city contenders may also receive some major sites from Amazon. The online giant will make its announcement Tuesday.
“Amazon Picks New York City, Northern Virginia for its HQ2 Location,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 13, 2018) [Log-in required.]; “Amazon Chooses Queens and a Washington Suburb for ‘Second Headquarters,’” The New York Times (Nov. 12, 2018); and “Crystal City, Long Island City And Amazon HQ2: One Thing Is For Sure, Home Prices Will Rise,” Forbes.com (Nov. 9, 2018)
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Updated: February 15, 2019