Miami named finalist for location of new Amazon headquarters

List narrowed from 238 cities down to 20

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

SEATTLE - Miami remains in the running to be the location for Amazon's second headquarters.

The online giant narrowed its list of possible cities to 20 on Thursday, and the Magic City made the list. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is hopeful. 

"Without a doubt, we have to create more of that talent base here," Gimenez said. 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, currently the richest person in the world, grew up in South Florida and attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School. 

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr believes Bezos needs to consider everything South Florida has to offer. 

"We share workers. We share roads. We share all kinds of things, so it would help the entire region," Furr said. 

Last year, Amazon received bids from 238 cities and regions from across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The company said it would make a decision in 2018.

Bob Swindell, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, agrees with Furr and said that the South Florida area stands to benefit from a Miami-Dade move. 

"The power we have working together that if this locates in Miami-Dade, it's going to be a win for Broward and Palm Beach," Swindell said. 

Called HQ2, the new facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate, and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.

READ: Amazon's criteria for new headquarters

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough - all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy said in a statement. "Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation."

Amazon said it evaluated each of the bids based on the criteria it previously outlined, such as proximity to a major airport and ability to attract tech talent.

"They want to know about transportation. They want to know about quality of living," said Michael Finney, director of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's economic-development agency. "They want to know about education."

In the coming months, the company said it will work with each of the locations to "dive deeper" into their proposals, obtain more information and evaluate how the city could accommodate Amazon's hiring plans and benefit its workers and the local community.

Amazon has said the second headquarters would be a "full equal" to its Seattle campus. The tech giant estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an extra $38 billion to the city's economy.

The remaining cites on the Amazon list are:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Toronto
  • Washington, D.C.

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