Toronto may have lost out to Washington area for Amazon's HQ2: report
This Sept. 28, 2011 file photo shows the Amazon logo on display at a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Saturday, November 3, 2018 2:25PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, November 3, 2018 6:04PM EDT
Amazon is in “advanced discussions” about placing its second headquarters in Northern Virginia, seemingly dealing a blow to Toronto’s hopes of luring the online retailer here.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the Seattle-based company has held “advanced discussions” with local officials about the possibility of locating the development in Crystal City, which is located immediately south of downtown Washington.
The newspaper said that the discussions have touched on how quickly Amazon could move employees to Crystal City, which buildings they would occupy and how an announcement about the move would be made.
The report adds that the company is close enough to making its decision that at least one real estate developer in the area has “pulled some of its buildings off the leasing market.”
It remains unclear whether similar discussions are being held with other cities but if Amazon has indeed honed in on the Washington area for its highly-sought second headquarters, it would be a blow to Toronto.
The city was one the only Canadian municipality to be included on Amazon’s short list last January and Mayor John Tory has been a frequent and vocal advocate for the bid. ‘
In its 190-page bid submitted to Amazon in October Toronto offered up 10 locations across the region that it said would be suitable for the company’s second headquarters, including a site in the Port Lands.
The bid also touted the region’s liberal values, which it said would be integral in helping to “attract and retain talent.”
Amazon has previously said that its second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” will be equal to its Seattle base of operations in scale and eventually lead to the creation of 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Toronto Mayor John Tory's office would not commment on the speculation, pointing to the city's "strong bid" for the headquarters.
"We have put forward a strong bid that highlights the fact that the Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce. There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength," a statement from the mayor's office reads.
"The bid book we put together to tell that story has been downloaded more than 15,000 times - a clear sign that people from around the world are interested in our region and its opportunities."