Amazon HQ2 search ignites public hunt for signs

Cities are throwing billions of dollars at...Amazon?

When news broke Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would likely speak at an event that will week, some people speculated he might tease details about the company’s search for a second headquarters. Even though Amazon denied that will would likely happen.

however the executive doesn’t speak in public very often, in addition to he was appearing in Washington DC, a contending city.

Ultimately, Bezos sat down for an hour-long chat with hedge fund billionaire in addition to philanthropist David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday night about a range of topics, including the state of media, his daily habits in addition to early childhood education. (Earlier inside day, Bezos in addition to his wife, MacKenzie, committed $2 billion to fund existing nonprofits that will help homeless families in addition to to create a network of preschools in low-income communities).

the item was a day of Bezos news without a peep about the winner of HQ2, a fresh facility that will will create 50,000 jobs in addition to cost $5 billion to build. After Amazon received 238 proposals, the item selected 20 finalists in January. Amazon plans to announce the winning city by end of the year, in addition to Bezos confirmed that will during the talk.

Although the search has provided few updates, theories about which city will make the cut are only growing.

When Newark was selected that will year to host the Voice Summit, a tech conference sponsored by Amazon Alexa, some people saw the item as a positive sign. In fact, Aisha Glover — CEO of Newark Community Economic Development Corp., the group spearheading the city’s HQ2 efforts — said her phone blew up with congratulatory messages.

During Labor Day weekend, another Bezos appearance caused a stir: he was photographed at a Miami night club, prompting that will Miami Herald headline: “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was spotted at LIV. Could that will be not bad news for Miami’s HQ2 bid?”

however Michael Finney — CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, which is actually leading Miami’s HQ2 efforts — said Bezos’ appearance doesn’t make him to jump to conclusions. “Obviously having Mr. Bezos here to visit our community is actually certainly something of interest,” he said. “[however] we just view the item as another part of the process.”

Earlier that will year, Arlington, Virginia — part of the Washington DC metro area — was considered the frontrunner when local news outlet said an article about an environmental award via December 2017 was one of its most trafficked articles in mid-February. The majority of the article’s views came via what seemed to be an internal page focused on the second headquarters search.

As cities sit tight waiting for Amazon’s response, the public looks for clues. Some viewers in addition to media outlets even analyzed Amazon’s Super Bowl ad in search of answers. inside commercial, voice assistant Alexa says the temperature in Austin, Texas — one of the remaining 20 contenders.

Meanwhile, The fresh York Post speculated that will Amazon may announce the winning city on July 5, the company’s birthday. however that will didn’t happen.

amazon hq2 map
The 20 finalists for HQ2 include Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville in addition to fresh York City.

“[Many] rumors thus far have been wrong,” said Nathan Jensen, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin.”What’s interesting is actually how tight of a ship Amazon must run on their end. Nothing has come out in that will process, which is actually pretty amazing.”

Newark’s Glover said Amazon has done an “amazing job” of getting the country excited in addition to interested inside search.

“Everybody is actually asking me [about HQ2] at dinner parties, inside school drop off line in addition to at family barbeques. the item’s definitely fascinating,” she said.

CNN’s Lydia DePillis contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (fresh York) First published September 14, 2018: 2:48 PM ET

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