Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

Memo at L.A. City Hall Says Amazon has Already Picked Los Angeles for Second Headquarters

Report: Amazon to Locate New HQ On the Banks of the Los Angeles River


Los Angeles river with Union Station in the background

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in September that Amazon would construct a second headquarters in North America, the smart money was on Atlanta. The South's biggest City has land, a large and largely underemployed workforce, transportation infrastructure and an accommodating local government. Since Amazon's HQ is in Seattle, it made sense that the company would pick the East coast, or even Toronto Canada for HQ2.

But in January, Amazon moved into the Sony Pictures studio in Culver City, and this was apparently a hint that they were thinking California.

The report says that the online retail leviathan will select the area around Union Station and the LA River for it's new hub. Describing a preliminary memo making its way around Los Angeles City Hall, the report says "The State, along with the City, County, and Metro, have agreed that the build out of HQ2 would not be subject to any sales taxes."

"Over the next nine years, Amazon will hire as many as 50,000 employees with an annual payroll of over $5 billion, an average of more than $100,000 per employee. Amazon has committed to spending over $5 billion in capital expenditures, in large part on more than 8 million square feet of Class A office space. The company has also indicated that it will aid in the revitalization of its portion of the Los Angeles River, help finance nearby affordable and market rate housing for its workers, develop permanent supportive housing for up to 2,000 homeless veterans in DTLA, and work with LAUSD on mentoring programs."

Anyway, if it's all true, and if a deal is actually inked, expect local real estate prices to skyrocket even more. Hence the part about housing 2000 homeless veterans.

The company is named for the world's largest river, so it is perhaps a sentimental choice as well, to locate it along the banks of a different river., Inc., is an electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington that was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. The tech giant is the largest Internet retailer in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization, and second largest after Alibaba Group in terms of total sales.

In September 2017, Amazon announced plans to locate a second headquarters in a metropolitan area with at least a million people. Cities needed to submit their presentations by October 19, 2017 for the project called HQ2. The $5 billion second headquarters, starting with 500,000 square feet and eventually expanding to as much as 8 million square feet, may have as many as 50,000 employees

Getty Images

A pigeon flies over a railroad track near the LA River

The website started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services.

Amazon also sells certain low-end products under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.

Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched. Amazon also offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries.


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