Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Los Angeles Dodges A Bullet as Amazon Locates it's HQ2 New York City and Arlington VA

There's just no housing here to add 50,000 primary jobs, let alone roads to handle the traffic

As it became clear that Amazon would split it's "HQ2" between Arlington, Virginia and Long Island City, Queens, it also became clear that overcrowded Los Angeles has dodged a bullet.

Los Angeles is already home to about 39,000 Amazon employees, reports the Los Angeles Times, who work in its film division in Culver City, in other film production facilities, in Whole Foods Markets and the like.

Where on earth where these employees going to live? In the new $5000 a month one bedroom apartments under construction near the 405 and the 10 interchange? Not likely.

How were they going to commute through boulevards that are already at a standstill? What would their presence have done to those of us who already live and commute in LA? I think you already know the answers to those questions.

But now, with Amazon's decision to expand across the continent from its Seattle home, splitting its new corporate footprint between New York City and northern Virginia - plus some jobs in Nashville - the City of Angels is not so much indulging in a pity party as offering up a collective shrug. Even the project's biggest local boosters don't seem to view the decision as a fatal snub.

Nashville got a phone center with 5000 employees. Each city had to suck up to Amazon. Crystal City changed its name to "National Landing," apparently in honor of the Reagan National Airport nearby. The County of Arlington will have to build a bridge from the new HQ to the airport.

Not everyone in the winning city's appeared thrilled. "There's something doubly brutal about all those regional mayors first being given false hope they might have a chance, *then* having to watch NY people be like "noooo, please, not the Amazon HQ, this is such a nightmare for us", tweeted Tom Gara.

NYC is being starved of resources by the wealthiest few & biggest corporations. Our city is crumbling. We can't pay for: Public Housing, the subway and public services," tweeted Nomiki Konst. "Offering a tax deal to the Amazon is a disservice to New Yorkers. It's disaster capitalism. I do not support."

In fact, the headquarters contest was arguably a small part of a vast dispersal strategy as the $178-billion company grows at breakneck speed across the globe, gobbles up other companies, launches new endeavors and engages in a fierce completion for tech talent with Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.

Just 45,000 Amazon employees, in a worldwide workforce of about 613,000, are based in Seattle. California is a close second with 39,000 Amazon staffers - not counting the thousands who work for Whole Foods and other subsidiaries. The company says it has invested more than $19 billion in the Golden State since 2011.

Three of the company's 18 North American tech hubs are in California - in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego with nearly 10,000 workers at Amazon Devices, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Studios, Prime Video, Amazon Game Studios, the Alexa voice-activated service and IMDb, the movie and television database. Irvine offices also staff Alexa, cloud computing and game operations.


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