Where online retail giant Amazon will build its second headquarters could be known just over 100 days from now.
Speaking during a dinner at the Washington-based Economic Club, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer, noted that his development team is working hard on the location question, “and we will get there.”
Bezos’ appearance at the non-profit Economic Club attracted a record crowd of more than 1,400 business leaders and politicians, many of whom were hoping to find out if Amazon is going to build in Washington or Northern Virginia, two locations that have made it to the company’s top twenty finalists list.
Bezos said he fully expects the second headquarters announcement to be made in late December, but declined to say anything more than that.
Amazon announced in the fall of 2017 that it wanted to build a new $5 billion headquarters that might well include a factory and distribution plant.
In a Request for Proposals, the company said it hoped to move to a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million people, an educated workforce, and high-tech capabilities.
That RFP drew extensive responses from 238 cities and metropolitan areas, a number that Amazon earlier this year pared down to twenty.
On that finalists list, only Austin, Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles are west of the Mississippi River. The other locations under consideration are mostly along the East Coast or in the Mid-West.
Speculation has been rampant regarding which cities are the most likely to be picked by Amazon, with Denver consistently ranked in the top five probable locations.
If the announcement is made late this year, construction of the second headquarters would start in 2019, lasting well into 2020.
News of Bezos’ appearance at the non-profit Economic Club, which was founded in 1986 to study the role played by Washington in the national and international economy, has spurred speculation throughout the summer.
When the club announced in May that it was scheduling Bezos, the Washington Business Journal, anticipating a possible second headquarters announcement, declared: “It could be one of the most important dinners in regional business community history. Or it could be nothing.”
By Garry Boulard