Amazon HQ2 to land in New York and Northern Virginia

Last Updated Nov 13, 2018 10:52 AM EST

Amazon has confirmed the location of its second headquarters, saying it will split the site between New York City and northern Virginia, the company announced Tuesday. The ecommerce giant will receive $1.5 billion in incentives from New York and $573 million from Virginia as part of its promise to create 25,000 high-paying jobs in each location, the company said.

Splitting its headquarters into two will make it easier for the company to hire workers with technology industry experience, while also reducing the strain on a particular area. In its announcement, Amazon said that "attracting top talent was the leading driver" for its decision, while acknowledging that tax and other economic incentives were also a factor.

The company also said it will create a third, smaller operations hub in Nashville, Tennessee, that will hire up to 5,000 full-time workers. That location is set to get $102 million in incentives.

New jobs in all three locations will pay an average salary of $150,000, Amazon said.

Amazon's New York City headquarters will be in Long Island City, Queens, a neighborhood across the East River from Manhattan that has changed from an industrial hub to a rapidly gentrifying, mixed-use mecca.

Since reports of Amazon's choice leaked last month, some New York elected officials have objected to the potential tax subsidies the company would receive, as well as raised concerns about the impact of adding 25,000 residents to densely populated New York City neighborhoods.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the U.S. Representative-elect for an adjacent congressional district in New York, sent off a series of tweets Monday night objecting to the company's incentive package.

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here," she said. "Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is said to be pursuing a rezoning process for the area that would circumvent local political control, Crain's New York reported.

Amazon's Northern Virginia operations will be in National Landing, a community in Arlington county roughly three miles from Washington, D.C. The area has lost about 25,000 jobs over the last decade, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Defense moving some key operations out of the area, the Associated Press reported. 

The location is also close to a home owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who bought a mansion in Washington, D.C., two years ago.

The announcement ends a 14-month bidding war among 238 cities vying for the new Amazon headquarters.