(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. already has a sprawling Seattle headquarters that attests to its size and ambition. Now the world's largest online retailer plans to open a second North American campus — dubbed HQ2 — that Amazon says could be just as big as the existing one.
The company is asking local and state governments to submit proposals for a development that will likely cost more than $5 billion over the next 15 to 17 years and give the winning city or town an enormous economic boost. Amazon is already one of the biggest employers in Seattle and expects to the new headquarters to house as many as 50,000 workers, many of them new hires. Cities have until next month to apply through a special website, and the company said it will make a final decision next year.
"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said in a statement. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs."
Amazon recently moved into a new 500-foot-tall office tower in Seattle, complete with 100-foot-tall orbs — Amazon calls them Biospheres — which will host more than 300 plant species from around the world when they open in 2018. The rest of the campus covers several city blocks and is housed in former industrial buildings.
Cities and local governments are expected to compete fiercely for the opportunity to become
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