Amazon says it will announce the location of its 2nd headquarters by the end of 2018, and it could massively impact the chosen city's housing prices and infrastructure

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on Thursday that the company would announce the location of its second headquarters by the end of the year.
  • There’s been lots of speculation about the location of the second headquarters, with insiders suggesting it could be in northern Virginia.
  • Whichever location plays host to the Amazon’s new headquarters is likely to have to deal with consequences like an influx of workers and a rise in housing prices.
  • Some say Amazon’s primary headquarters in Seattle has contributed to a spike in housing prices and gentrification.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on Thursday that the company would announce the location of its new headquarters, known as HQ2, before the end of the year.

“We have made tremendous progress, the team is working their butts off on it, and we will get there,” he said, speaking at the Economic Club in Washington, DC.

You can watch Bezos talking about HQ2 at the 11:53 mark in this video:

Amazon in January announced a shortlist of 20 candidate cities, and recent signs have pointed toward Crystal City in northern Virginia as topping that list. Bezos, however, gave no hints about HQ2’s location on Thursday.

For the city that ends up as Amazon’s home away from home, its housing market is likely to be transformed by the tech giant’s presence, and not necessarily for the better. Seattle, Amazon’s current base of operations, has seen a rapid increase in average prices of rentals and homes driven in part by an influx of workers, and critics say it has contributed to gentrification there.

Amazon also opposed a so-called head tax, which was initially approved by Seattle’s city council earlier this year and would have introduced an annual corporate tax of roughly $US275 for each full-time employee. The tax was intended to raise funds to help fight homelessness in the city, where Amazon is one of the biggest employers. But city officials blocked the tax in June, and many viewed Amazon as having got its way after signalling that it could take its business elsewhere.

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