Amazon scouting for city to build mammoth second headquarters

Above Amazon in Seattle

"We expect HQ2 [the name Amazon is using] to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement. For instance, Amazon estimates construction and ongoing operation will create tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment. Amazon says it indirectly pumped $38 billion into the Seattle economy from 2010-2016.

"We think RTP is the ideal place for a new Amazon headquarters; we'll be working with our Economic Development Partners in Wake and Durham Counties to put together a proposal in the coming weeks", says Michael Pittman, vice president of marketing and communications for the Foundation, which oversees RTP management and development.

Amazon HQ2 will cost $5 billion and eventually bring around 50,000 new jobs, the American e-commerce firm said in a press release.

"With two current facilities in Minnesota, including a recent expansion in Shakopee, Amazon has already seen the benefits of Minnesota's well-educated and world-class workforce, who live and work in strong communities with a high quality of life", he said.

Over the last few years, Amazon has expanded massively, and now has more than 380,000 employees worldwide and has plans to create 130,000 by the middle of 2018.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore Development Corporation President William H. Cole announced that Baltimore will compete for the location of Amazon's second headquarters.

RTP's unfolding master plan also aligns well with Amazon's wants.

Amazon said it was seeking proposals by October 19 and would select the location next year. The company opened an office on the South Side in January and recruited experts in machine translation from Carnegie Mellon University to run it. Amazon has also partnered with Findlay-based Seegrid for self-driving vehicles inside its distribution centers. Those who now work at the Seattle office are expected to be able to choose if they'd like to stay or relocate to the new location.

Arlington, officials say, could fit the bill - and the county is planning to respond to Amazon's request for proposals. Likely contenders could include US Midwest states, where Amazon has many of its warehouses; Texas, which is the base of the Whole Foods Market grocery chain it acquired this year; and other business-friendly states.