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Amazon Starts Competition for New HQ

Amazon Starts Competition for New HQ

Amazon says it wants to build a massive second headquarters in North America, sparking immediate competition from rival cities to attract what could be billions of dollars in investment, the BBC reports.

Officials from Toronto, Texas, Maryland and Chicago were among those who said they planned to try to win Amazon's new venture.

The e-commerce giant is seeking a base for as many as 50,000 workers.

It said it plans to spend $5bn (£3.8bn) on the project over 15-17 years.

Opportunities to compete for headquarters projects are nearly unheard of in the US at the scale Amazon envisions, experts said.

By comparison General Electric plans to move 800 people to a new headquarters in Boston.

"It is very rare," said Craig Richard, vice-chair of the International Economic Development Council. "You don't have a lot of these that happen so when the occasion arises... economic developers jump at it."

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the headquarters would be a "full equal" to its headquarters in Seattle.

"Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs," he added. "We're excited to find a second home."

The firm said it is looking for a site in a city area with more than one million people. It wants a location with access to mass transit that is close to major highways and an international airport.

The firm also said incentives offered by local governments would be a "significant" factor in the decision.

Locations such as Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, and Toronto shot to the top of list of potential places. Austin is home to Whole Foods, the grocery chain that Amazon recently acquired.

Officials elsewhere said they were not deterred by the prospect of tough negotiations over a possible incentive package.

"We know it will be a big number but we're going to be aggressive in going after it," said Steve Pennington, managing director for business and industry sector development at the Maryland Commerce Department. "I think everyone will be very aggressive."

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