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The Overcast: Amazon's HQ2 News Ripples Through Hometown

Amazon spheres
Elaine Thompson
The Associated Press
Part of the Amazon campus in Seattle, where the company is currently singularly headquartered

The news that Seattle-based Amazon wants to build what it calls an "equal" second headquarters somewhere else in North America sent shocks through the local political and business communities.

Amazon put out a request for proposals Sept. 7. Since then, city officials around the country have started publicly champing at the bit to bring their towns a promised $5 billion in economic investment and 50,000 new employees.

The Seattle Times business reporter Matt Day tells his colleagues Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman the company's unusual move and Seattle's reaction on this week's episode of "The Overcast," the Seattle Times weekly politics podcast recorded at KNKX.

Interview highlights

On whether Seattle should be saying sorry...

"There's not an obvious flashpoint between the city or the state or Amazon wanted something and did not get it. It seems like it's a pretty cordial ongoing relationship they've had. Largely it's a transactional and real estate relationship with city officials, and, you know, there's no obvious split."

On the concept of a "second headquarters"...

"Nobody at this scale has two giant co-equal headquarters. This is sort of a brand new thing and very, very Amazonian in that no one's tried it before. Part of the issue with this one is we don't know exactly how it's going to shake out."

On what comes next...

"The complicating factor though is this process has started out very publicly. It's about to get very quiet. Amazon's going to require strict confidentiality around sort of the talks around this. So this is going to go under a hood fairly shortly."

To hear more about Amazon's HQ2 and the events that led up to former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's resignation, you can find the whole episode of this week's podcast here. You can also find "The Overcast" on iTunes, Tunein, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.
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