'We are on this big time': Wilmington will pitch for Amazon HQ2

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Amazon said it will be seeking bids from metropolitan areas with more than one million people-of which there are about 50 in the US-and which offer a "stable and business-friendly environment".

U.S. web giant Amazon announced plans on Thursday to open a second headquarters somewhere in North America that will accommodate up to 50,000 employees and cost $5 billion to build and operate.

A source close to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told CNN Tech the mayor has spoken "several times" with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the second headquarters. Amazon listed a few preferences for its new headquarters, including: a metropolitan area with more than one million people, "a stable and business-friendly environment", creative communities, and an urban or suburban location capable of attracting tech workers.

Amazon was incorporated in 1994 in Seattle, and made its first online book sale in July 1995, with Bezos personally mailing packages to customers in the early days.

The company also said that while HQ2 could be an urban or downtown campus with a similar layout to Seattle headquarters, it's not considered a requirement. (Trading tax breaks for jobs has also been the way that companies decide where to build offices and factories since forever.) Recently, Amazon has been building loads of fulfillment centers around the country, each of which creates thousands of jobs.


The company expects to hire up to 50,000 new full-time workers with an average salary of $100,000 over the next 10 to 15 years, so it's looking for a place that can "attract and retain strong technical talent".

They don't know exactly when or where yet, but Amazon does know that it will open a second headquarters in North America. This won't be some kind of satellite office, but rather one that Amazon says will be equal in size and importance to its current headquarters in Seattle.

"If Amazon came to us and said we're interested in investing $5 billion in the Boston economy, we'd make it work somehow", Walsh said.

Arlington, officials say, could fit the bill - and the county is planning to respond to Amazon's request for proposals. "If Amazon puts a facility in another location that doesn't have that same kind of demand on high-tech employees, you're going to see potentially a two- to three-year advantage that Amazon can enjoy as they start to ramp up".

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