Charlotte Didn't Make Amazon's Cut, But Raleigh Did

Jan 18, 2018

Charlotte is out of the running for Amazon’s $5 billion headquarters. The online giant released a list of 20 finalists Thursday morning. Raleigh was among the finalists, as well as New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Catawba County and the Triad area, which also submitted bids, did not make the list.

The online retailer said that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places like Boston and New York. Other contenders include Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest.

Los Angeles was the only West Coast city on the list. Both Texas and Pennsylvania had two cities that made the cut: Austin, Dallas, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are also being considered.

The other contenders: Denver, Washington D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia, Virginia. Inc. said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

The company's announcement last fall that it was looking for a another home in addition to its Seattle headquarters launched a fierce competition among cities looking to lure Amazon and its promise of 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

State and local governments played up the amenities they think make their locations the best choice for Amazon's second headquarters.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership led the bid to entice Amazon to the area. Charlotte tried to persuade Amazon with a video and a push on social media using the hashtag #CLTisPrime. The NC Department of Commerce and state's Economic Development Partnership bought ads on buses in Seattle praising North Carolina.

State officials would not disclose the incentives package offered to Amazon. The company had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade. But Amazon also made it very clear that it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives.