NYC, Newark Among Finalists For Amazon's Second Headquarters

Amazon narrowed 238 bids down to 20 cities and posted a map showing them on their website Thursday morning.

The contest for the $5 billion, 50,000-job project has dominated web chatter in economic development circles on Thursday, Jan. 18.

But that's not all. But Amazon must have had a reason to include 20 finalists, instead of 10, or 15; it's fair to assume any of the cities remaining has a nonzero chance to become home to HQ2.

Analysts forecast the most successful city would need to have at least 4 million residents to reach the scale Amazon sought and draw the required software talent it needs. Stonecrest, Georgia even proposed to rename itself "Amazon". Other's pulled off stunts to standout, such as NY, which lit the Empire State Building in Amazon orange.

Seattle-based Amazon has more than 540,000 employees worldwide. Many went to a lot of trouble, including Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who purchased a thousand Amazon products for charity, and promised to review every single one of them for the site.

Jacksonville offered up to 200-acres of waterfront property for free if the company establishes its second headquarters in the River City. "Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation". The call for proposals was announced back in September and initiated a wave of local officials vying to offer the best package of incentives.

The City of Langford on Vancouver Island also submitted a bid, as did Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sault Ste. It's considering 17 USA cities. But the city thinks it can overcome that. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are being considered.

Cities made splashy attempts to attract the company's attention.

Canada's business advantages include costs among the lowest in the G7, universal health care that lowers the cost to employers, stable banking systems, and a deep pool of highly educated prospective workers from both at home and overseas, according to Trudeau.

Possible negative: Competition from nearby Washington, D.C. Chicago is one of those contenders.

The list includes most of the major metro areas in America.

This Midwestern hub increasingly is known as a tech magnet, with companies ranging from Salesforce and Angie's List calling the state home.

The bid also touted Suffolk Downs. Another big plus: affordable living when compared to some of the other big finalists. Atlanta and Raleigh were on the list of finalists for the facility that is expected to bring about 50,000 new jobs.

Follow USA TODAY tech writer Marco della Cava on Twitter.

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