Amazon's search for a second headquarters has entered a new phase of courtship: The company has begun making visits to the 20 places on its short list.
And the first candidates to confirm they've met with an Amazon team are all in the Washington, D.C., area.
Seeing first reports of meetings from the Washington, D.C., area is making some wonder if that region is the one. There is other evidence too: That's the only area where multiple places made it to the short list. The area has three jurisdictions with a total of nine sites. And Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a home in Washington, D.C.
But some shortlisted cities have said they won’t talk about any visits from Amazon, so it’s possible the D.C. area is not actually the first.
It doesn’t take much to launch a wave of speculation over what city will win HQ2’s 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in direct investment. A tiny reference to Austin in Amazon’s Superbowl ad last month was heralded as a “big ole clue” in Texas. And one paper in North Carolina wondered if the ad meant Raleigh was out of the running.
Amazon issued a statement saying it is excited to “to dive deeper on their proposals and share additional information about the company’s plans." Close observers of the company expect Amazon to be methodical in its pursuit of the right location.