Amazon announced on Thursday that it is looking to expand its corporate presence to a second headquarters in North America, which is expected to be a "full equal" to the company’s current Seattle headquarters, according to a company press release.
The company plans to invest more than $5 billion in construction of the new headquarters and expects the facility will eventually include 50,000 employees. Those who currently work at the Seattle office are expected to be able to choose if they’d like to stay or relocate to the new location.
As Amazon opens a Request for Proposal, local and state government leaders are encouraged to submit a proposal to host the headquarters. Bids are due on Oct. 19 and Amazon will select a location sometime next year.
Let the bidding wars for Amazon’s new hub begin.
By the e-commerce giant’s account, its investments in Seattle from 2010 to 2016 have boosted the city’s economy by roughly $38 billion — a high incentive for any major city looking to court innovative businesses. And there’s a lot in it for Amazon as well. The company has so far received more than $1 billion in incentives to build warehouses across the country, according to data from Good Jobs First, an organization critical of corporate tax credits, cited by The Wall Street Journal.
"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home."
In its new home, Amazon said it’s looking for a metropolitan area with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, an urban or suburban location that will attract technical talent and a community that thinks creatively when considering real estate options. The company added that the new HQ could be a downtown campus with a similar layout to the Seattle campus, an 8.1 million square foot area made up of 33 buildings.
Over the last few years, Amazon has expanded massively, and currently has more than 380,000 employees worldwide and has plans to create 130,000 U.S. jobs by the middle of 2018. Roughly 40,000 employees currently work at the company's Seattle office.
Just this year, the e-commerce giant has expanded dozens of programs, including its vast Prime loyalty ecosystem, its Alexa device offerings and its speedy one- or two-hour Prime Now delivery. The company is also experimenting with many new services, such as Prime Wardrobe, which is aimed at rivaling upstart retailers. That's not to mention that Amazon sent shockwaves through the retail industry earlier this year with its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, which signaled a big push into brick and mortar.
In order to move forward on all of these projects as the company grows, it's clear Amazon sees the value in investing in corporate leadership to guide its ambitions.