Amazon narrows list for new headquarters, edging out Silicon Valley

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Amazon narrowed its search for a second headquarters city Thursday to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Amazon narrowed its search for a second headquarters city Thursday to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. Toronto made the list as well, as the company kept its international options open.

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San Jose bills itself the "Capital of Silicon Valley." But that was not enough to be one of the 20 cities Amazon is considering for a new second headquarters. Seattle is its home. Los Angeles and Denver were the only western cities to make the cut.

San Jose created a 41-page bid in under six weeks to meet Amazon's deadline for proposals. Not being on the list was disappointing to Kim Walesh, deputy city manager in charge of the city's economic development.

The full-color brochure cost $10,000. It was developed with help from developers and the commercial real estate sector to show Amazon available land and buildings in north and south San Jose and downtown.

It may have lost to competing cities by not offering financial incentives.

"We'll never know at the end of the day to what degree Amazon is motivated by the financial incentives, which were an important part of their criteria," said Walesh. "It was not something, it's not a game that we chose to play."

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Amazon's decision comes one day after Apple said no city in California or Texas will be considered for a new campus for tech support workers. However, Apple does own a 40-acre site in San Jose for future expansion, Google is planning a new megaplex near SAP Center, and Amazon has three existing facilities in San Jose.

"They already have an R&D lab here and are building a warehouse operation here," Walesh said, "and they're no doubt looking for other locations to expand in the Bay Area."

San Jose sees value in having a mix of companies. Small and medium-sized businesses are just as important to the economic growth of San Jose. For example, Cohesity just moved into two floors of a Park Avenue office building, bringing with it 300 employees from its former headquarters in Santa Clara.

The effort that went into the Amazon bid won't be wasted. It can be used to attract more companies in the future.

Full list of finalists for Amazon's new headquarters:

- Atlanta, GA

- Austin, TX

- Boston, MA

- Chicago, IL

- Columbus, OH

- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO

- Indianapolis, IN

- Los Angeles, CA

- Miami, FL

- Montgomery County, MD

- Nashville, TN

- Newark, NJ
- New York City, NY

- Northern Virginia, VA

- Philadelphia, PA

- Pittsburgh, PA

- Raleigh, NC

- Toronto, ON

- Washington D.C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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