Beltway Hosts 3 Amazon HQ2 Finalists

Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX/AP

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Amazon narrows the 238 proposals it received to build its next headquarters to 20 finalists.

Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. are three of the 20 finalists for Amazon’s next headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The tech giant narrowed its search Thursday from 238 bid proposals it received in October from regions all across the continent. In a statement, the company said it will work with all 20 areas in the coming months to “evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership” before making a final decision later this year.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough—all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," Holly Sullivan, an executive with Amazon Public Policy, said in a statement.

Amazon’s second headquarters will create 50,000 jobs paying an average of $100,000.

Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. met Amazon’s initial requirements, including population density, strong infrastructure and transportation options and access to top technical talent.

Mathematically, the Beltway region stands a 15 percent chance of landing Amazon’s HQ2, but its odds may be higher.

In 2016, Amazon Web Services, the company’s most profitable business, announced a new East Coast headquarters in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The expansion brought 1,500 jobs to Northern Virginia as the company strengthens its presence in the federal IT market.

AWS, which has more than 2,300 public-sector customers, has capitalized on the Beltway’s talent pool, building new data centers in the region and securing the lion’s share of the intelligence community’s classified cloud business.