The Detroit Post
Friday, 25 June, 2021

Amazon Austin Headquarters

Ellen Grant
• Thursday, 10 December, 2020
• 9 min read

Immigration crackdown: ICE officials pledge 400% increase in I-9 work site audits Trump hints he’s given up on a DACA Zealand he’s blaming Democrats for it.

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Yep, Mr. John Bozo don't care about you being a U.S. Citizen or let along your safety in his company. I guess that's why Amazon is a GREAT customer to OSHA and other states safety occupation inspection.

The new hires are slated for a 145,000 square foot space in office, retail and residential center, The Domain. Austin made a good case for Amazon, as it's the third-ranking city for technology professionals to work and live.

The city also boasts proximity to graduating from IT college students from the University of Texas and a lower cost of living than other technology metropolitan areas. Austin is one of Amazon's 17 North American tech hubs, “a network of development centers” alongside its Seattle and Arlington, Virginia headquarters, according to the announcement.

Austin is home to the headquarters of Amazon -owned Whole Foods and close to its San Marcos, Texas fulfillment centers. In December, Apple announced plans to invest in a $1 billion Austin campus.

Since 2011, Amazon has invested more than $7 billion in the Longhorn State, and the addition will bring the company's Texas workforce to around 22,000 jobs. The expansion will strengthen an Austin hub that is already among Amazon ’s largest locations in the United States and Canada.

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Amazon ’s Austin's growth is part of an effort set in motion years ago and not related to the company’s recent pullout of a planned headquarters site in New York, Deeper said. Amazon will not receive any financial incentives from the state or from local governments to open the new facility, according to the Greater Austin of Chamber of Commerce.

As one of the world’s largest companies, with a market value approaching $900 billion, Amazon's tentacles reach throughout Central Texas. Besides its presence at the Domain, at the six Whole Foods stores here and the warehouse in San Marcos, Austin is home to one of Amazon ’s bookstores and has been a site for new delivery and shopping projects by the company.

In January 2018, Amazon named Austin as one of 20 finalists for its $5 billion-second headquarters project, which the company had announced in September 2017, spurring a more than yearlong public search. Amazon eventually chose to split the development between New York’s Long Island City and Arlington, Va., which offered the company billions in combined incentives.

Amazon decided to kill its plans for New York after backlash over the incentives offered by the city and state. Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that Amazon employs 3,000 workers at its San Marcos warehouse, according to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Amazon told the newspaper that it plans to hire the new employees over a period of several years to fill a 145,000-square-foot space in four floors of a North Austin development called The Domain. The company ultimately chose New York's Long Island City and Northern Virginia to place 50,000 employees instead, citing the need for a robust talent pool.

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Apple announced in December that it would invest $1 billion into a new campus in Austin, which will accommodate an initial 5,000 employees. Amazon will reportedly add 800 jobs to its Austin, Texas, location focused on engineering, research science and cloud computing.

How did Virginia manage to snag the biggest economic development prize in recent memory? Amazon says its abrupt decision in February to pull out of a deal to build part of its giant second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, was not about politics, despite speculation to the contrary.

But when opposition in New York grew, Chairman Jeff Bezos and his team decided it only made sense to focus their efforts on the other victor in the HQ2 sweepstakes: Northern Virginia. The location emerges as the big winner, as HQ2 will add 25,000 jobs and upward of 6 million square feet of office space by the mid-2030s.

But the biggest motivator for Amazon : a state committed to developing a technology talent pipeline for the future. A member of the team that led Amazon's search for the location of its new second headquarters says the company knew that it might encounter some local resistance to its plans to locate part of the project in Long Island City, Queens.

But when that opposition proved to be more strident than expected, it helped Amazon resolve a dilemma it had been wrestling with for months: how to hire 50,000 tech workers all at once. “That was part of the original decision to split the second headquarters among New York and ,” said Brian Houseman, Amazon's vice president for public policy.

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Rather than continuing to battle with New York, the company quickly decided to drop its plans to hire 25,000 people there. Houseman provided CNBC an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the year-long process of choosing a second headquarters, in an interview inside the temporary office space the company has leased in the Crystal City section of Arlington.

Once they did, Houseman said company officials were genuinely surprised at the amount of attention the process received. Amazon set off a massive bidding war with its announcement on Sept. 7, 2017, that it was seeking proposals for what it dubbed HQ2, a $5 billion project with 50,000 employees that would complement the company's existing headquarters in Seattle.

To evaluate all the bids, Amazon assembled a small, core team led by Holly Sullivan, head of worldwide economic development. Among the external sources the team looked at, Houseman revealed, was CNBC's America's Top States for Business studies.

Many had never put together a bid for a project anywhere near this size, and few if any had done it in as short a time frame as Amazon was demanding. 45 in the Business Friendliness category of this year's Top States study; Maryland is No.

“It's not just monetary incentives, but it's looking at the comprehensive environment to allow companies to flourish,” he said. That was a good thing for Virginia, which was not prepared to match the levels of incentives offered by New Jersey and Maryland.

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In Crystal City, Matthew Kelly, CEO of real estate investment trust Jug Smith, sensed a potential opportunity almost from the moment Amazon issued its request for proposals. The company owns 6.2 million square feet of office space in an area that once was dominated by defense contractors but now was around 20% vacant.

Amazon represented a chance to jump start the company's plans to redevelop the area. Access to transportation and a location in a large metro area were also on Amazon's list of priorities.

On the floor was emblazoned a map of the site, allowing the team to visualize its potential new home. An overview of Crystal City, where Amazon plans their 2nd headquarters, showing the Pentagon and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport nearby.

There is also easy access to the DC Metro and the Virginia Rail Express commuter lines. And while Crystal City had seen better days, it still had the makings of a vibrant community, including plenty of shops, restaurants, and easy pedestrian access.

The company had formulated its original request for proposals with the idea of replicating its Seattle headquarters, which houses around 48,000 people. So in September, one year into the selection process and only about three months ahead of Amazon's self-imposed deadline, the company decided to split up the project.

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The cons primarily involved cost, and perhaps some potential political hurdles in New York. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities.

Finally, it was decision time: 25,000 employees would go to National Landing, and 25,000 would go to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York. The group had also been impressed with Nashville, Tennessee, because of its low costs and great quality of life, so they decided to add a 5,000-employee operations center there.

The libertarian Cato Institute calls New York “the least free state in the country,” criticizing the state's heavy regulations, New York City's rent control laws, and the level of government spending. Still, the pros outweighed the cons. After more than a year of stringing the country along, the company was going with two of the largest, most expensive metro areas, and collecting around $4 billion in incentives.

Rather than fight a potentially losing battle, it would simply drop its Long Island City plans altogether and spread its 25,000 positions among the company's 17 existing tech hubs around the country.

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