LA makes Amazon’s list of finalists for new headquarters

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Los Angeles is one of 20 cities left bidding for Amazon’s second North American headquarters.

The tech giant is expanding beyond the limits of its current 8 million-square-foot base of operations in Seattle and sent cities around the continent into a frenzy when it announced a pageant-like search for a new location in September.

On Thursday, the company trimmed a list of 238 cities down to just 20, with the company seemingly favoring an eastward expansion. Los Angeles is the sole finalist on the West Coast, despite bids from major urban areas like San Diego, Portland, and San Francisco.

The company received plenty of interest from Southern California cities, including Irvine, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, and Long Beach (the latter cities submitted a joint proposal). But Los Angeles is the only city left standing.

Little has been revealed about LA’s proposal—including where the city thinks such a massive facility could be constructed. In September, City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield argued that Warner Center’s former Rocketdyne plant would be an ideal location, but it’s unclear whether that site appeared in the city’s formal proposal submitted to the company in October.

Today we are announcing the communities that will proceed to the next step in the HQ2 process. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity

— Amazon News (@amazonnews) January 18, 2018

The impact of the company’s arrival in Los Angeles would be significant. Amazon estimates that its new headquarters would create more than 50,000 jobs and bring $38 billion of investment into the local economy (though Seattle residents can attest that such economic transformation can be a mixed blessing).

Amazon Seattle
Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
SEASTOCK | Shutterstock

With its finalists in place, Amazon now plans to probe each city’s proposal further, delving into specifics about the feasibility of each bid. The company says it will announce a winner later this year.

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