Indeed, the majority of finalists are concentrated on the other side of the Mississippi: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh and Washington, D.C. Toronto is the only finalist outside the United States. "Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough - all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity", said Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy.
"Cobb County has wonderful schools, and therefore would probably get a lot of amazon people moving out to the Cobb County area and all up and down the 400 corridor as well, those are popular places to live", said Turner.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership's general counsel, citing discretionary exemptions under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act, wrote that releasing the proposal could jeopardize future attempts to attract companies to Virginia.
But he says its biggest hurdle will be providing the necessary workforce.
There were a few surprises on the list with small market cities in the Midwest like Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis making the cut.
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Trump himself marked the day with a videotaped speech posted on Twitter that alluded to King's celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech. Trump has said he wants to extend it, but has also tweeted that Democrats aren't serious about getting a deal to extend it.
Amazon said in a statement that it will dive deeper into the remaining bids in the coming months and plans to make a final decision later this year. "I think Amazon should have selected Halifax, but we understand and that is the way things work".
"I know we'll hear from them about next steps", Booth said.
Toronto, a growing tech hub, was the only city outside the US on the list.
It remains unclear where city leaders have designated potential sites for Amazon's HQ2 within its greater Central Texas region.
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John Barros, Boston's chief of economic development, said city officials still consider Suffolk Downs, a former race track near Logan International Airport, to be the location that best aligns with Amazon's stated preferences.
Mesilla Valley's Lopez said it's hard for companies to understand the opportunities of this tri-state, two-country region.
Vancouver's bid to land Amazon's second headquarters has fallen short.
There are 20 finalists, and one online betting site actually lists Austin, Boston, and Atlanta as the favorites. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie promised Amazon lavish incentives to come to the state, benefits it is not yet clear whether his successor, Gov. Phil Murphy, will still extend. Amazon found it hard to engage with so many applicants and had to whittle the list to enter the next phase of evaluation.
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