By Ovunc Kutlu
Amazon.com Inc. is planning to build a new $5 billion headquarters in North America, the e-commerce giant said Thursday.
Dubbed HQ2, it will be equal to its existing Seattle office and will have an estimated 50,000 employees, it said in a statement.
Amazon has not yet chosen the location for HQ2 but prefers it to be in a metropolitan area with more than one million people, it said, adding it will make a decision next year.
Other preferences include “urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent” and “a stable and business-friendly environment”.
The city of Los Angeles wants to be among the candidates and is planning to bid on the project, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other cities and states that have expressed interest include Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Kentucky and Toronto.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in the statement that HQ2 will bring in billions of dollars in investments and provide tens of thousands of jobs to the local community.
Amazon says it invested $3.7 billion in buildings and infrastructure at its 8.1 million-square-foot Seattle headquarters from 2010 to 2017 and currently has more than 40,000 employees.
The company estimated that its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy.
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