Amazon says no to Vancouver for HQ2

Amazon reviewed 238 proposals before shortlisting 20 cities

While Vancouver did not make the HQ2 shortlist, the company still plans to open a second downtown Vancouver office and add 1,000 jobs to its B.C. workforce | Shutterstock

Vancouver and Seattle may share a common affinity for craft beer and a tolerance for rain, but the two West Coast cities will not be sharing Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) headquarters.

Vancouver has been left off the shortlist of 20 North American cities vying to host the second headquarters for the Seattle-based tech giant.

The company reviewed 238 proposals, including a regional proposal for Metro Vancouver, after announcing in September it was accepting bids from jurisdictions across the continent to host what it called its HQ2.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, Amazon Public Policy, said in a January 18 statement.

“Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Toronto is the lone Canadian city on the list that includes Los Angeles, Boston, New York City and Austin, Texas.

The company’s request for proposal estimated that it would invest US$5 billion in constructing a second headquarters that could house as many as 50,000 workers.

“Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon — not a satellite office,” Amazon said in its late summer announcement.

Amazon’s current headquarters in Seattle has more than 40,000 employees working across 33 buildings in a total of 8.1 million square feet.

It presently has an office in downtown Vancouver as well as a distribution centre in Delta. In November the company announced it would open a second office in downtown Vancouver and add about 1,000 new workers to its current workforce of 1,800 in B.C.

List of finalists:

Atlanta

Austin

Boston

Chicago

Columbus, Ohio

Dallas

Denver

Indianapolis

Los Angeles

Miami

Montgomery County, Md.

Nashville

Newark

New York City

Northern Virginia

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Raleigh, N.C.

Toronto

Washington, D.C.

torton@biv.com

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-­With a file from Glen Korstrom