Amazon Is Reportedly Choosing Two Cities for HQ2

updated Oct 3, 2023
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(Image credit: Jonathan Weiss)

After a year-long process of courting cities and states for tax cuts and various other perks, Amazon is choosing two locations for its sought-after second headquarters, “The Wall Street Journal” reported Monday evening. The supposed winning metros would be Long Island City, Queens, and Crystal City, Virginia. Experts are coming down on both sides of the decision, calling the split a move to tap into multiple talent pools and avoid housing and traffic blames, as well as calling the bidding war was “a massive sham.” But here at Apartment Therapy, we’re reminded of another split decision. Let’s travel back in time to 2015, for the announcement of Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year.

For eight years, global color institute Pantone had been releasing an annual Color of the Year, which was supposed to inform trends across design disciplines, from products to interiors to graphics. Without warning, the 2016 COTY was suddenly two hues, Rose Quartz, a pale pink, and Serenity, a periwinkle blue. Here’s what Pantone had to say at the time about choosing two instead of one:

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

2016 is hardly a year that could be described as having “a soothing sense of order and peace.” Of course, it (probably) has nothing to do with Pantone giving us double the hues.

But HQ2 is a bit more high stakes than a hue: Amazon has promised to bring 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment to the winning city, saying that HQ2 would be a “full equal to our current campus in Seattle.” Now that there’s a probable split, will both New York and Virginia get a full HQ2, or will they “amount to large satellite offices,” as the “Times” writes? Or is it a way to extort more tax incentives from the two “winners,” as Business Insider puts it?

Though residents of each of the chosen cities could benefit from only having half the HQ instead of the whole hog—perhaps rents won’t rise quite so high or traffic won’t be quite as bad.

Amazon has yet to comment on the reports. Perhaps they’re consulting Pantone first.