Amazon considers headquarters in DC area


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Three of the finalist locations for Amazon’s HQ2 are from the DC area, giving the area a seemingly high chance of receiving the headquarters. Amazon’s search to find a headquarters has garnered a lot of attention.

A recent visit to the DC area by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has rekindled discussion regarding their proposed new headquarters. Bezos announced his plans for a new headquarters last September and the location still remains undecided, though one spokesperson claims it will be announced later this year. Three of the finalists for the new locations are in the DC area – Montgomery County, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Amazon booked the Renwick Gallery for a 40 person dinner on Sept. 11, which was followed by a series of other appearances by Bezos in the area. This included an interview hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, which was attended by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, all three with locations in the running. These appearances cement Bezos’ interest in putting the new headquarters, labeled HQ2, in the DC area. In addition, Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post in 2013, as well as a house nearby, seem to indicate his interest in the area and increase the likelihood of him putting HQ2 in the DC area.

Social studies teacher Christopher Merrill feels that the chances of the headquarters being placed in the DC area are quite high.

“It’s the nation’s capital, the Washington Post is here, [Bezos] already has a home here,” Merrill said.

Others, such as senior Tam Koroye, believe the chances of the DMV being selected as the HQ2 site are not very high. “The Washington Post is just a valuable asset,” Koroye said, arguing that it does not indicate that Bezos is interested in the DC area.

According to NPR, the company promises to bring a $50 billion investment to the chosen location along with 50,000 jobs, each with an average salary of around $100,000 a year.

“[HQ2 would be] a cool addition to the DC lineup,” sophomore Kristian Talaid said. Talaid added that the headquarters could bring new opportunities to the people living there, possibly giving residents the option to tour the headquarters.

Many experts argue that the headquarters would provide jobs and draw in people from the whole DC area if any one of the three locations were chosen. It would also benefit the local economy of whatever location is chosen by bringing in business and more taxpayers to the area, which explains the strong support from the city officials and local residents.

Conversely, many believe the HQ2 could pose issues to the people living in its new location. Amazon’s arrival would bring much more traffic to the area and worsen the already busy rush hours. There is also a chance that it would increase property values, making living in the area much less affordable.  

“A lot of people won’t be able to purchase houses because it will be too out of their price range,” freshman Haven Kaylor said.  

Some educators focus on the benefits the headquarters could bring to students and the MCPS school system as a whole. In addition, it could possibly open partnerships with MCPS.  

“[It could bring] lots of internship opportunities for students in MCPS,” Merrill said.

However, schools in the area are already suffering from overcrowding, which the Amazon headquarters will only increase. As a result, this could adversely affect students living in the DC area if one of the three locations are chosen.