NJ makes Amazon’s new HQ top 20 — so now what?
SEATTLE — Newark is among the 20 finalists for Amazon's second North American headquarters.
The list was whittled down from 238 proposals received from all around the country, with a final choice expected sometime this year. Proposals from New York City and Philadelphia are also on the list.
"In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community," the company said in a statement.
Amazon said the new headquarters will be an independent location with "50.000 high-paying jobs" along with "tens of thousands of additional jobs." The company said it will invest over $5 billion in the final location. Gov. Chris Christie told legislative leaders when he put together New Jersey's proposal that 30,000 was a more realistic number.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, a supporter of Newark's plan during the gubernatorial campaign, was pleased with the announcement.
"Our location is unparalleled, our highly educated workforce is among the best anywhere, and our strong public schools, diversity, and infrastructure combine to create communities that businesses and workers would love to call home. While today certainly is good news, our work is not done. We are going to continue to press our case for Amazon to come to Newark," he said.
New Jersey offered Amazon more than $5 billion in tax breaks as part of a plan proposed by Christie and approved by the legislature. Newark is offering $2 billion in property and payroll tax incentives of its own that would come on top of New Jersey’s offer. The Legislature had to change existing tax credit laws in order to accomodate the deal.
The progressive think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective agreed that Newark would make a good location, but called the deal expensive corporate welfare.
"We remain wary of the steep price tag for taxpayers that state and local lawmakers have already put on this project. By putting at least $5 billion, and potentially several billion dollars more, in taxpayer dollars on the table so early in the game, New Jersey has ensured that is returns will be minimized if Amazon were to ultimately choose the state," the group's Vice President Jon Whiten said.
Whiten was also critical of Newark's denial of a public records request to see the plan on the grounds its release would give other cities an advantage.
Amazon has seven facilities in New Jersey in Avenel, Carteret. Edison, Florence, Robbinsville, Swedesboro and Teterboro.
Amazon's 20 HQ2 finalists:
- Atlanta, GA
- Austin, TX
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO
- Indianapolis, IN
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- Montgomery County, MD
- Nashville, TN
- Newark, NJ
- New York City, NY
- Northern Virginia, VA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Raleigh, NC
- Toronto, ON
- Washington D.C.