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Amazon announces HQ2 will be split between New York City, northern Virginia

A view of Manhattan is taken from the waterfront of Long Island City on Nov. 7, 2018, in New York. Amazon is planning to split its coveted second headquarters between New York City and Arlington, Virginia. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Amazon officially announced Tuesday that its second headquarters will be split between two locations — New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

What are the details?

The company's announcement comes after more than a yearlong search for a second HQ2 location in North America. Several states and hundreds of towns across the U.S. submitted proposals to the firm in hopes of attracting the retail giant and the jobs that would come with it.

Ultimately, Amazon decided to select two additional locations, and will now have three official headquarters in America, including the main headquarters in Seattle.

CEO Jeff Bezos said adding the two locations "will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come."

Amazon plans to invest $5 billion between the two new headquarters, creating more than 50,000 jobs. The firm will also open a new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, Tennessee, which will bring 5,000 jobs to the city.

Average wages for employees at the HQ2 locations will be over $150,000, according to Amazon. The company says it will receive "performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion" under its agreement with New York, and $573 million from its agreement with Virginia.

The company said in its news release that "economic incentives were one factor in our decision — but attracting top talent was the leading driver."

Amazon's criteria for its HQ2 included proximity to a major airport, a population of more than 1 million people, and the ability to attract skilled technical talent, according to CNN.

Business Insider reported that Amazon hopes to have its new headquarters at least partially operational by sometime next year.

Anything else?

While nearly every large metropolitan area in the U.S. sent proposals offering grants, tax breaks and other incentives to Amazon in a bid to become the location of its much-hyped HQ2, some experts say government deals for big business aren't always what they're cracked up to be.

Economist Amihai Glazer of UC Irvine told the Los Angeles Times, "Amazon played cities against each other. But incentives often lead to winner's remorse. Last year, for instance, Boston offered $145 million to General Electric [for its new headquarters] but the promised employment has not materialized."

When Christopher Thornberg, a founding partner of Los Angeles consulting firm Beacon Economics found out that Los Angeles lost its bid to become the location for HQ2 he told the Times, "Thank God."

"We have record low unemployment, skyrocketing housing costs, horrendous traffic and somehow we wanted to drop 50,000 overpaid techies into the middle of this?" he said. "What the hell. I don't get the logic."

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