North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said state officials haven’t heard anything from Amazon about the status of the tech giant’s second headquarters.
News reports in recent days have said that the Seattle company has selected Northern Virginia and the New York borough of Queens to develop dual headquarters facilities that will employ 50,000 people. But Amazon has not made any official announcement and has not provided details to officials in North Carolina.
“We’re waiting to hear,” Cooper told reporters Tuesday at a Council of State meeting. “We have not heard.”
The Raleigh-Durham area was one of 20 in the U.S. and Canada in the final running to lure the Amazon site, dubbed HQ2. Amazon executives said they would make the announcement this year and invest $5 billion in the mega-project, which would be equivalent in scale to its 45,000-employee Seattle site.
The influx of tens of thousands of high-paid technology workers would be transformative and disruptive to the the community selected to host the Amazon office complex, stimulating local economies and boosting the local tax base, but also putting strain on local schools, roads and other public services.
Over the weekend The Washington Post reported that Amazon officials were in talks with officials in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times followed on Monday with stories saying Amazon had decided to split the headquarters between New York and Virginia. All reports were based on anonymous sources. Amazon declined comment on those news reports.
When asked if economic development officials here are trying to find out the status of North Carolina’s application, Cooper said he was restricted by confidentiality rules on what he could say.
“Now we’re in a time of a confidentiality phase,” Cooper said. “So we’re working behind the scenes at this point.”
But Cooper said he expects that finalists for HQ2 would be notified by Amazon rather than learning about the decision from news reports.
“Usually, across the board, when you’re dealing with a company and you’ve made proposals, they will let you know one way or another,” Cooper said, speaking after a routine N.C. Council of State meeting.
Cooper also deflected questions about the status of tech giant Apple’s planned expansion from its Silicon Valley headquarters to Research Triangle Park. That project is still “active,” a N.C. Department of Commerce spokeswoman told The News & Observer on Saturday.