Amazon to employ 50,000 at new HQ — and Chicago wants in

by Michael Hines
September 7, 2017

On Thursday, Amazon publicly announced it will build a second headquarters outside of Seattle, employing 50,000 people.

Chicago has already expressed its interest to the tech giant, according to Crain’s. Citing an anonymous source close to City Hall, the outlet said mayor Rahm Emanuel has spoken with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the project.

Amazon already has a sizable presence in the Windy City and Illinois. The company recently doubled the size of its Chicago office, and it employs thousands of workers in distribution centers throughout the state.

“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Bezos in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

While the company expects to hire new teams and executives for HQ2, it will also allow senior leaders to relocate their teams from Seattle.

The announcement contained a list of preferences for the location of HQ2. These include a desire to be near a major metropolitan area of 1 million people or more, and a stable and business-friendly environment. 

The design of HQ2 doesn’t need to mimic Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, but the company does want communities to “think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

On paper, Chicago looks like a top candidate for HQ2, based on its sizable population and its thriving tech community.

Interested cities and regional economic development organizations can submit their visions for HQ2 by October 19th. The final site selection and announcement will occur sometime in 2018.


Image via Amazon.

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