Amazon Seattle

Amazon has narrowed its focus to 20 U.S. cities to be the next site of its second headquarters as city officials scramble to compete for what’s expected to bring a multibillion-dollar impact to their community.

That the Internet retailing giant said it was looking to build a second North American headquarters after Seattle sent city officials across the nation scrambling to vie for the company’s attention with an initial list of 238 cities in the running. Thursday, that list narrowed to 20.

Those finalists are Toronto; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Chicago; Denver; Nashville; Los Angeles; Dallas; Austin, Tex.; Boston; New York, N.Y.; Newark; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Montgomery County, Md.; Washington D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Northern Virginia; Atlanta, and Miami.

Amazon’s presence is expected to be an economic boon to whichever city is chosen to host its second headquarters. The company estimates more than $5 billion funneled into the construction of its new facility over some 15 to 17 years with about 50,000 jobs. The company also clarified the second headquarters would stand equivalent to its existing Seattle offices.

The Seattle campus is a community unto itself, with a $3.7 billion capital investment. It totals 33 buildings and 8.1 million square feet for its more than 40,000 employees.

Amazon said the money invested into Seattle between 2010, when the company moved there, and 2016 generated some $38 billion in economic impact to the city. It cited 233,000 hotel nights generated in 2016 as a result of traveling company employees or other guests visiting the campus and some $43 million going to Seattle public transportation for employees between 2010 and June 2017.

For the next campus, Amazon said it requires at least 500,000 square feet initially in the first phase to be completed some time in 2019 but, in total, as much as 8 million square feet in the longer-term.

The company initially sent out a request for proposals in September with a deadline set for October. A decision based on the 20 finalists is expected to be made this year.

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