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Miami makes shortlist for Amazon HQ2

A surprise package arrived Thursday morning.

Amazon has announced its shortlist of 20 proposals for its $5 billion second headquarters, with New York, Miami and Los Angeles all making the cut.

There were 238 proposals from around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for HQ2, although all 20 finalists are American, except for Toronto, Ontario.

In the Miami area, proposals were submitted for Overtown, Downtown Doral and other neighborhoods.  Overtown was the choice of Mayor Tomás Regalado, who called it “the only place” in the city for Amazon, given its urban setting in the heart of the city.

The 20 finalists include other urban hubs around the country, though most of them are located on the East Coast. They include Boston, Atlanta, Austin, and Chicago. Some less well-known locales also made the list, including Montgomery County, Maryland—a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Amazon plans to grow HQ2 “to be a full equal” to its existing headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and expects to create 50,000 jobs there.

The e-commerce giant is looking for an area with low cost of living, an educated workforce, high incentives, at least one million people, and access to an international airport. Amazon announced the bids October followings its submission deadline.

Civic leaders, elected officials, developers, and seemingly everyone in between threw out ideas for Amazon’s massive headquarters in the run up to the deadline. In Miami-Dade County, leaders considered areas like downtown Miami, Overtown and Doral.

Now that the finalists have been announced, Amazon will work with the selected cities more closely. A winner is expected to be announced later in the year.  – Dennis Lynch