SEABROOK – While Prince George’s County did not proceed to the next step for consideration of Amazon’s second headquarters, the region may benefit if the company selects one of the short-listed nearby jurisdictions.
Amazon received 238 proposals from jurisdictions in the U.S., Mexico and Canada for their second headquarters, also known as HQ2. Company officials expressed many preferences for the HQ2 site, including being in a metropolitan area with more than one million people, having direct access to mass transit and being within 45 minutes of an international airport.
On Jan. 18 Amazon announced the 20 metropolitan areas that will continue in the next phase of the process. These finalists include D.C., Northern Virginia and Montgomery County.
“It is disappointing that Prince George’s County did not make Amazon’s list of 20 finalist jurisdictions for their second Headquarters project,” County Executive Rushern Baker, III said. “However, I am very proud of my economic development team and the Prince George’s County business community on their very robust effort to put forth a strong bid.”
Prince George’s County submitted four sites for Amazon HQ2 in October. Those locations were near the College Park, Greenbelt, and New Carrollton Metro stations as well as at the Konterra Development.
Montgomery County is the only jurisdiction from Maryland on Amazon’s current list.
“I believe our initial proposal made an extremely strong case for Montgomery County as a great place to do business, and I look forward to working with Amazon to bring jobs and investment to the County,” Montgomery County’s County Executive Ike Leggett said.
Members of the Baker administration believe Prince George’s County would benefit if Amazon chose Montgomery County.
“As the Amazon HQ2 process moves forward, I want to, first and foremost, support and endorse the Montgomery County bid,” Baker said. “Amazon choosing the Montgomery County location would be the best choice for Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland.”
David Iannucci, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for economic development, said some of the estimated 50,000 people who would work at the headquarters would likely live in Prince George’s.
“There would be associated businesses that would benefit from proximity to the headquarters of Amazon that would be located in Prince George’s,” Iannucci said. “The catchment area for employment for Amazon could be as far as 75 miles…certainly in our proximity to Montgomery County we would be a major beneficiary from an employment standpoint.”
Iannucci said some of the advantages would also apply if HQ2 were to be in Northern Virginia or D.C., but emphasized that Montgomery County would be best for Prince George’s because Amazon would pay Maryland taxes.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration proposed legislation to develop a $5 billion incentive package to entice Amazon to build its next headquarters in the state.
“Amazon sent a clear signal that Maryland truly is open for business by selecting Montgomery County as one of an elite group of contenders for this transformative project,” Hogan said. “HQ2 is the single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and we’re committing all of the resources we have to bring it home to Maryland.”
While Amazon’s HQ2 may not come to Prince George’s County, local officials are hopeful other large companies will find a home in the county.
“Although today’s announcement is a disappointment, I expect that with nearly $10 billion in economic investment created over the last seven years, we are going to continue our unprecedented economic growth and attract companies of similar importance to that of Amazon,” Baker said.