Amazon’s new headquarters might be coming to Toronto.
After receiving 238 applications, the world’s largest online retailer released a short list of 20 candidates for its second North American headquarters.
Of the 12 Canadian cities who submitted applications, Toronto is the only one that made the list. No cities from Mexico were chosen.
The decision comes as Amazon tries to expand beyond its crowded Seattle, Wash. headquarters. The tech giant says that it expects to create 50,000 jobs and invest US$5 billion into whichever city it chooses.
Amazon is looking for a major city of at least one million that is able to “attract top technical talent” and that is within 45 minutes of an international airport. It also must be able to expand by as much as eight million square feet in the next decade.
It’s not a surprising request for a growing company. Amazon employed 542,000 employees at the end of last September. That’s a 77 per cent increase from the previous year. The company has grown rapidly since its US$13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods last June.
Toronto’s proposal did not include tax incentives like many American cities’ bids did. It does, however, offer several downtown sites as potential locations.
Potential suburban locations, such as downtown Mississauga next to the Square One Shopping Centre, have also been proposed.
Amazon’s final decision is expected later this year.
The 20 cities on the short list are:
Toronto, Ont. Atlanta, Ga.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Montgomery County, Md.
New York City, N.Y.
Northern Virginia, Va.