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Amazon snubs Silicon Valley, San Francisco for HQ2

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Nine local cities vied for Bezos’ bounty, but LA is only West Coast city on shortlist

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Amazon’s HQ in Seattle will remain its only West cCast hive.
Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

Amazon announced Thursday morning that it has selected 20 cities as potential sites for its planned new headquarters, and the commerce giant has snubbed Silicon Valley, rejecting bids by San Francisco and more than a half dozen nearby municipalities.

San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Concord, Fremont, Pittsburg, Union City, San Jose, and Vallejo all made eyes at the Amazon project, seven of those cities even banding together to submit a bid jointly in hopes of attracting the new tech hub to a combination of local spots.

San Francisco offered up Candlestick Point, dubbed “the largest single redevelopment opportunity on the West Coast.”

Oakland floated the possibility of moving into Uptown Station, the onetime department store recently jilted by Uber, who recently sold it.

And Concord hoped the Seattle-based company would consider moving into the long disused Concord Naval Weapons station, which the city has tried to redevelop for a generation.

In the end, no Bay Area proposal proved much of a lure for the big-ticket project, which Amazon projects will cost $5 billion and yield 50,000 local jobs. In fact, the list of 20 finalists includes only one city on the West Coast: Los Angeles.

The ongoing Candlestick Point development proved little attraction for Bezos and company.
The ongoing Candlestick Point development proved little attraction for Bezos and company.
Rendering courtesy of IBI

When fishing for invitations, the company said it was in the market for a metro area “with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent, communities that think big and creatively.”

Although that sounded like courting language for Silicon Valley—or at least, so Valley insiders would like to think—it seems Amazon will be delivering somewhere else in the future.