Austin Chamber will not release details of Amazon HQ2 proposal after tech giant selects New York City, Northern Virginia

Austin had been named as one of 20 finalists to land Amazon's second headquarters before the company announced it would split its HQ2 locations between New York and Virginia.

Austin had been named as one of 20 finalists to land Amazon's second headquarters before the company announced it would split its HQ2 locations between New York and Virginia.

Austin’s chase for Amazon HQ2 has come to an end. The company announced Tuesday morning that it would split its second headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia, investing a total of $5 billion and creating more than 50,000 jobs across the two new locations.

The New York City offices will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, while the Northern Virginia location will go to Arlington's Crystal City neighborhood in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce submitted a bid to land HQ2 late last year, keeping the details of the bid confidential. Shortly afterward, Austin was named to the shortlist of 20 finalists to land Amazon, joining Los Angeles, Dallas, Toronto and a host of east coast cities.

“We are pleased that the Austin region has advanced to the second round,” said Mike Berman, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of communication in a statement when Austin made the shortlist. “We look forward to presenting the best of what our region has to offer and how we can partner with Amazon. At this point we have no further information.”

According to city documents, the chamber’s proposal on behalf of the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area submitted last fall did not include an incentive package on behalf of the City of Austin.

Now that the process has reached its conclusion, the chamber has no plans to change course and release information on the bid to the public. The chamber released a statement Tuesday morning congratulating the two HQ2 sites and touting Austin’s strong economic fundamentals that allowed the city to make Amazon’s top 20.

“While we appreciate interest in our bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, as with all our other economic development projects, it is not our practice to share details of these proposals,” the statement said.

Some other cities took a different tactic during the HQ2 process. When Arlington, Texas was taken off the shortlist in the spring, the city released its proposal to offer Amazon $921 million in performance-based incentives if the company located its headquarters in an area the city would repurpose around the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park.

Although Amazon will not be bringing its second headquarters to Texas, the Seattle-based company already has a presence in Austin. In June 2017 the company bought Austin-based Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The company also has a fulfillment center located in San Marcos and a corporate office at The Domain in North Austin.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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