Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it would build a $5 billion second headquarters in North America, kicking off a competition between cities and states to offer incentives and tax cuts that could bring 50,000 new jobs.
"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters", Amazon's Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in prepared remarks. Construction and operation of the second headquarters will likely require the hiring of tens of thousands more employees, which will also yield, according to Amazon, "additional investment in the surrounding community".
Amazon's current corporate headquarters is in downtown Seattle, Wash., and has brought an estimated $38 billion in additional investments to the city.
Amazon did not specify what kind of high-paying jobs will be at HQ2, but, on the website, Amazon said it wants strong local and regional talent "particularly in software development and related fields".
In explaining why it was holding a public process, Amazon said on its site that it wanted "to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit".
Amazon's campus in the northwest U.S. state of Washington now employs more than 40,000 people scattered across 33 buildings and 750,000 square meters (8.1 million square feet) of office space, according to a company fact sheet. Amazon said it will hire 2,250 full-time employees at the facility to pack and ship household essentials, books, and toys.
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Pittsburgh will bid for Amazon's second headquarters.
Bids are due October 19 and the company said it expects to choose a site sometime next year.
Amazon noted a few preferences for their new location, including "metropolitan areas with more than one million people" and a "stable and friendly business environment". Fitzgerald said. "Our job is to give them what they want to be able to succeed". The company completed its acquisition of Whole Foods last week and began overhauling the grocery chain by lowering some prices and integrating Amazon services.
The company expects the second headquarters will ultimately hold around 50,000 workers; it has over 40,000 in Seattle, out of a worldwide workforce of 380,000.
Back in June, the e-retailer spent $13.7 billion to acquire Whole Foods, which has 450 stores across the US and will begin setting up Amazon Lockers in some locations where customers can pick up online orders.