All signs point to Amazon's second US HQ being in Northern Virginia

© iStock
© iStock

The technology giant is reportedly closing in on selecting Crystal City in Virginia as its second US HQ

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Seattle-based technology giant Amazon is reportedly closing in on Crystal City in Northern Virginia as its second US headquarters, which promises to house up to 50,000 jobs.

The retail and cloud computing giant has been conducting a well-publicised search for its second major US hub since September 2017. Other cities officially in the running included New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Denver and Dallas.

Now, as reported by The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the company is closing in on Crystal City, according to people close to the process.

"Amazon.com has held advanced discussions about the possibility of opening its highly sought-after second headquarters in Crystal City, including how quickly it would move employees there, which buildings it would occupy and how an announcement about the move would be made to the public," the report states.

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HQ2 promises to bring "over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs," according to the vendor.

"In addition to Amazon's direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

Why Virginia?

The Post goes on to explain what makes the little-known town in Northern Virginia stand out from other cities clamouring for Amazon to set up shop there, which reportedly included "easy transit access, proximity to Reagan National Airport, and ready-to-occupy office buildings".

What the piece does not mention is that Crystal City is located adjacent to The Pentagon and just across the Potomac river from the US seat of government Washington DC.

Amazon has made no secret of its desire to secure more public sector government contracts through its Public Sector Transformation Programme, its recent shift into the healthcare business, and via its giant cloud computing division AWS, which is currently leading the running for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with The Pentagon and has a $600 million deal in place to build a 'secret' cloud service for the CIA.

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Bezos, the world's richest man, has been busy investing in the DC area over the past couple of years, with plans to build a 600,000 square foot data centre in Loudoun County, and acquiring an East Coast campus for AWS employees in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Now, if Amazon does announce its move to Virginia, it will be just another signal of the company's intent to expand into the lucrative public sector and will be the clearest signal yet of the company's priorities and ambitions as it looks to become the most valuable business on the planet.

Amazon has yet to confirm or deny the reports to Computerworld UK.

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