Today, Amazon announced its plans to place its second headquarters. According to the official press release, the new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens.
The decision comes almost 14 months after the Indianapolis Region entered its proposal into the bidding process, a collaborative effort led by the Indy Chamber.
A diverse group of cities made Amazon’s list of top 20 finalists, but the decision to split the headquarters between two East coast major metros speaks volumes that we need to unpack. Other tech leaders like Steve Case have made it their mission to focus on the “rise of the rest” — cities that are emerging as tech hubs that can be viable communities for supporting enterprise tech companies. Why didn’t Amazon choose a similar path?
The sentiment from Hoosiers is one of support and positivity for being included amongst the ranks of the top 20 finalists. We are proud, and we should be proud. I hope we feel momentary pride for being a finalist, for building a remarkable tech hub, and for the collaboration that yielded high-quality products like this video (hat tip Maureen Krauss and the Indy Chamber team, the team at Innovative, and Larry Gigerich and the Ginovus team).
I also hope we feel the motivating burn of being runner-up, of being overlooked.
There’s a lot that we don’t know yet about why Amazon passed over Indianapolis for New York City, Virginia, and the surprise addition of Nashville. But let’s not just spin the positives and content ourselves with consolation. Let’s magnify and channel our frustration toward action.
This should be a galvanizing moment for Indianapolis to further the strong collaboration amongst our converged industries, organizations and companies that came together for this bid. Amazon HQ2 is a big thing, but it’s not everything, and it’s not the last opportunity we will have to rally together as a united front. This is an important moment for bold action. Let’s commit to do what it takes to win the next one and the one after that.