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Toronto falls short in quest for 2nd Amazon headquarters: report

Last Updated Nov 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm EDT

The Amazon logo is seen on the side of a new logistics center. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Michel Spingler

Toronto’s chances of becoming the next base of operations for online giant Amazon will likely come up short, if a published report is to be believed.

The Washington Post is reporting that the Seattle-based organization is in “advanced talks” to open its second headquarters in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Amazon is apparently seriously considering an area known as Crystal City. It’s a large residential and office complex in Arlington, Virginia, just south of Washington, the Post reported Saturday, citing unidentified sources. Crystal City is served by Washington’s Metro subway system.

The Washington metropolitan area was long considered a top contender for Amazon’s second headquarters. Company founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos already had several connections to the Washington area. He’s the owner of The Washington Post and owns a home in the area. When the company announced a list of 20 top contenders in January, it included both Washington as well as Montgomery County, Maryland, which is just north of D.C.

The news that Amazon is reportedly in “advanced talks” does not mean the deal is certain. Shortly after the Post published its story, Mike Grella, Amazon’s economic development director posted on Twitter, “Memo to the genius leaking info about Crystal City, VA as #HQ2 selection. You’re not doing Crystal City, VA any favours.”

Amazon announced last year that the retail giant was looking to open a second headquarters somewhere in North America, bringing with it as many as 50,000 new jobs. Several state and local governments threw their hats in the ring, offering Amazon millions in tax incentives if they opened their new headquarters in their city.

Toronto was the only Canadian contender to make the short list and mayor John Tory noted back in September the city is uniquely positioned to host the company.

“We put forward a strong bid that highlights the fact that the Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce,” Tory said in a statement to The Canadian Press.

“There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength. We made that point to Amazon in our pitch and in person when they visited us here.”

Amazon is expected to make its decision before the end of the year.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report