The losers of Amazon’s HQ2 contest have been revealed — but some locals are rejoicing

  • Amazon has officially chosen locations for its second headquarters, known as HQ2.
  • The company says it will split its new headquarters between the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York, and an area of Northern Virginia dubbed National Landing.
  • Eighteen cities that made it on Amazon’s shortlist were not chosen, but some locals were celebrating that news as a major victory.

After a yearlong search, Amazon has finally announced where its new headquarters will be located.

In a blog post on Tuesday, the e-commerce giant crowned two winners for its second headquarters, known as HQ2: the Long Island City neighbourhood in Queens, New York, and the newly formed National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia.

Officials from the two winning locations celebrated their victory online.

“When I took office, I said we would build a new New York State – one that is fiscally responsible and fosters a business climate that is attractive to growing companies and the industries of tomorrow … New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said in Amazon’s blog post announcing the HQ2 decision.

Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia echoed those sentiments.

“This is a big win for Virginia – I’m proud Amazon recognises the tremendous assets the Commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here,” he said. “Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I’m excited to say that our innovative approach was successful.”

For the remaining 18 cities on Amazon’s shortlist that spent several months trying to lure Amazon but didn’t make the cut, Tuesday’s news may come as a big disappointment.

But that’s not the case for everyone. Many people were rejoicing the news online, pointing out the various downfalls the sprawling headquarters could have brought to their city.^tfw

These people have most likely taken note of the impact Amazon’s main headquarters has had on Seattle, where locals complain of skyrocketing rents, prolonged construction, gentrification, and gridlock traffic.

Business Insider reported earlier this year that Seattle’s median rent increased by nearly three times the national median from 2005 to 2015.

Read more: 7 horrible things that could happen to cities if they win Amazon’s HQ2 bid

Amazon’s decision to spread its new headquarters across two metropolitan areas should help to alleviate some of these issues, but there is still likely to be pressure on the nearby areas.

Real-estate brokers in Long Island City saw a spike in inquiries for properties in the area after reports surfaced last week that Amazon was preparing to select it for HQ2. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that brokers said they were selling property, sometimes sight-unseen, over text message. The Journal’s story was published before Amazon had even made its official HQ2 announcement.

While the overlooked cities won’t be able to say they are Amazon’s primary home, they can expect to see more of the e-commerce giant as it expands its reach in other ways.

“While other locations may be disappointed not to have secured Amazon’s favour, it does not mean they will miss out entirely. Amazon is making enormous investments in warehousing, regional hubs and in retail stores,” Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.

“The company will expand both its customer-facing and back-end operations across America, and the world, in the years to come.”

Read more about Amazon’s HQ2 project: