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Amazon handled these recruiting efforts as any free agent would, by touring the country and enjoying the festivities in every city as stakeholders showcased the highlights of their area and explained how their municipality would be capable of taking on Amazon's massive presence. "I am doing everything I can", Governor Cuomo told reporters when asked Monday about the state's efforts to lure the company. Offering a choice of head offices could help it win new workers in a battle with Alphabet Inc's Google and others, with which Amazon competes in areas such as cloud computing and voice-controlled technology.

"The Amazon jobs are just the tip of the iceberg", said Jeffrey Schulman, a marketing professor at the University of Washington business school who has studied the company's effects on Seattle.

New York City put up four neighborhoods as possible HQ2 sites in its bid.

Company spokespeople reached by CBS News refused to comment on the stories.

Timing: Amazon is thinking about when to time an announcement on the new location, according to The Washington Post. But that also was the case for just about every other city that participated in this sham.

What qualities is Amazon seeking for HQ2?

"That would be good news".

"My gut feeling is that the size of this project can not be easily supported by a single community, and therefore they will split this project into two communities", Austin economist Angelos Angelou, principal executive officer of economic development and site selection consulting firm AngelouEconomics, tells CultureMap.

With the final decision for Amazon's (ticker: AMZN) new headquarters project reportedly drawing to a close, it looks as if the internet giant is on track to get the large subsidies and perhaps the locations it wanted all along. Bezos even said the company was "excited to find a second home", which really hurt the feelings of Seattle's rich white people.

The Journal described the decision as a "surprise". Amazon recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $15 an hour, but the employees at its second headquarters will be paid a lot more - an average of more than $100,000 a year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio separately met with Amazon executives in late October, but both declined to comment to the Times. "When you get into the clutter of Queens and Manhattan and that area, and you've got a little bit of busyness in the Arlington area because of D.C., it's not sure what the advantage is to Amazon of having a headquarters there, other than just being close to D.C. if they want to talk to regulators, and close to NYC because it's the biggest city in the country", Clouse said.

"I was afraid if we landed Amazon, they'd take all the oxygen out of the room", said David Townsend of real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank.

Amazon's second headquarters will be split between two locations, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

An Amazon executive in charge of economic development reacted in anger to the leak, saying a non-disclosure agreement had been violated.

Amazon announced a list of 20 finalists for HQ2 in January, including: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto; and Washington, DC.

Talks with the Triangle and some other cities had "cooled", according to the report.