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Amazon announces HQ2 candidates – and Minnesota isn't on the list

Here are the 20 finalists the online giant picked ahead of the Twin Cities.

Amazon will not bring its thousands of jobs, billions of dollars and world-renowned tech savvy to Minnesota.

The internet giant on Thursday released a list of 20 finalist cities for the second headquarters it announced plans for back in September.

No city from Minnesota made the cut. 

Amazon sifted through 238 proposals from 42 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico to whittle it down to the final 20.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy said in Thursday's announcement. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.” 

Here are the 20 finalists

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Nashville
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Northern Virginia, Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh
  • Toronto
  • Washington D.C. 

A modest proposal

Amazon dangled the enticing economic promises of its second headquarters to cities around North America, asking them to submit the best they had to offer. 

In return, they may be rewarded with 50,000 full-time employees over the next decade-plus with an average salary of $100,000 or more, $5 billion in capital expenditures, plus all the other financial and technological ripple effects that the HQ2 would create.

Related:

First it was Amazon, now Apple is building a 2nd HQ

Experts in the Twin Cities believed it could dramatically reshape the region's tech reputation, transforming the area into a global draw for some of the best and brightest. 

"Scale is one thing, but Amazon is pushing the boundaries in just about every direction. Not only what they’re building but how they’re building it," Adrian Slobin, Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at The Nerdery, told GoMN last fall.

But Minnesota's pitch was reportedly on the modest side.

There were no exorbitant tax breaks or headline-grabbing gimmicks, for example. 

It instead focused on the employee wellness aspect Amazon said it was seeking: access to quality higher education, good infrastructure and good quality of life for workers, and proximity to a major airport.

For Amazon, that apparently wasn't enough.

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