Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

The world’s worst-kept secret: NY and VA get Amazon HQ2




A view of the waterfront of Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York on November 7, 2018. Amazon is planning to split its coveted second headquarters between two US cities rather than pack it into a single urban setting, US media reported on November 5, 2018.
A view of the waterfront of Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York on November 7, 2018. Amazon is planning to split its coveted second headquarters between two US cities rather than pack it into a single urban setting, US media reported on November 5, 2018.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

19:07
Download this story 9.0MB

The two communities that learned Tuesday they are about to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.

But there are plenty of differences between New York's Long Island City and Crystal City in northern Virginia.

Set within eyeshot of the nation's capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.

Rapidly growing Long Island City is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.

Seattle-based Amazon, which set out last year to situate one additional headquarters, announced Tuesday that it was splitting its project into two.

Los Angeles also put in a bid for the big Amazon project. Cities across the country have thrown all kinds of incentives at Amazon to lure the Seattle-based e-commerce giant to their communities, raising questions and objections from critics who feel that the money could be better spent elsewhere. Should Los Angeles actually be thankful that Amazon isn’t coming to our backyard?

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Elizabeth Weise, technology reporter with USA Today, based in San Francisco, who’s been following the Amazon HQ2 search  

Bill Allen, CEO of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, a private nonprofit public benefit organization

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics and director of the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development