Amazon chooses New York, Northern Virginia for new headquarters

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More than a year after cities across America mustered their most convincing proposals to nab Amazon HQ2, the e-commerce giant is expected to announce as early as Tuesday that it settled on the New York City and Washington D.C. areas for its second and third headquarters.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The development projects, which could be announced as soon as Tuesday, promise to bring the cities a giant infusion of jobs and tax revenue, but are nearly certain to draw fire from critics concerned about their impact on infrastructure and property values.

The D.C. region was seen as a favorite to land the new headquarters, as many drew connections between founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and the nation's capital after he purchased the Washington Post and a mansion in D.C.'s prominent Kalorama neighborhood.

Then came the big surprise a week ago when the Journal reported that Amazon planned to split its second headquarters evenly between two locations rather than picking one city.

The company said it would invest more than $5 billion over nearly two decades in a second headquarters, hiring as many as 50,000 full-time employees that would earn more than $100,000 a year on average.

The fast influx of 25,000 highly paid techies would still be notable for the specific areas of Long Island City and Crystal City, for which Amazon would become the highest-profile, fast-growing employer.

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A look at two communities said to be at the top of Amazon's list.

Once a bustling factory and freight-moving area, Long Island City saw many of its plants and warehouses closed as manufacturing shriveled in New York City.

Still, landing HQ2 would represent "incredible validation of just how far NY has come", says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think tank. The change in plans came after Amazon executives concluded it could recruit more of the best tech talent if it spread the office over two locations.

Some 9,150 apartments and homes have been built since 2010, more than in any other New York City neighborhood, according to the city Planning Department.

But Long Island City has also been straining to handle its growth.

The HQ2 project is expected to generate $5 billion and 500,000 jobs. Toronto was the only finalist outside the U.S. According to Wikipedia, 20,000 people live in Crystal City, but 60,000 commute there.