Amazon's HQ2 is moving to Long Island City, Queens - here are the sites that could house its new headquarters
- Amazon has announced that its second headquarters, known as HQ2, will be split between two locations: the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, Queens.
- The company is on the hunt for either an existing building or new development, which will likely span 4 million square feet and cost around $2.5 billion over the next 15 to 17 years.
- Business Insider caught up with a few real estate experts, who shared their predictions for the future headquarters.
The wait is over: Amazon has officially announced the winners of its search for a second North American headquarters. The two locations - the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City, Queens - are each expected to receive around 25,000 new employees and $25 billion in economic investment.The company also announced that Nashville will receive a new operations center, complete with a $230 million investment and 5,000 additional jobs.
Prior to the announcement, Amazon floated a few requirements for the "campus or park" that would house its future headquarters: a 100-acre greenfield site, an existing building with at least 500,000 square feet of real estate, an infill site, or some combination of these choices. The company also expressed a desire for extensive transit options nearby.
The final project, they estimated, would span around 8 million square feet and cost around $5 billion. Those requirements are now likely to be divided between two locations.
"Even with the stratospheric prices of New York City real estate, $2.5 billion can achieve some remarkable results," said Constantine Valhouli, the head of research for Neighborhood X. As an example, he pointed to Google's Chelsea Market building, which cost the company $2.4 billion.
"That money goes considerably further in Queens," he said.Though Amazon has allotted 15 to 17 years for the initial phase of development, reports have indicated that the company wants a move-in ready site within a year.
In its request for proposal, Amazon said it would "prioritize certified or shovel-ready greenfield sites and infill opportunities," which could be built to meet its specifications. But an existing building could make it easier to stick with its timeline.
"Unless the terms of any arrangement with the city included expedited permitting and a bypass of parts of the review process, it is unlikely to have a skyscraper or tech campus built within a year, from the ground up," Valhouli told Business Insider. Then again, he said, "Things could theoretically work a lot faster when money isn't an object."
We asked a few real estate experts to share their predictions for where the company might locate in Long Island City.