Amazon’s HQ2 location remains a mystery one-year later

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This time last year, Amazon announced it wanted to build a second headquarters, but where it will go is still unknown. In January, the company narrowed its search down to 20 cities, including Indianapolis, and to the public's knowledge, each region is still in the running.

Amazon has said it wants to invest $5 billion to build the second headquarters, which could be filled with as many as 50,000 employees. Its website states the company will pick a location before the end of 2018.

Not much news has come out in recent weeks or months about how far along the process is or what Indianapolis' chances are of landing the highly sought-after jobs.

"Amazon is playing their cards very close to their chests, which is completely understandable," said business professor of operations management Mohan Tatikonda at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, who specializes in supply chain and international strategy. "Most of the cities, the regions that have bid for the headquarters, HQ2, have also been relatively secretive or closed about what they are offering in their negotiations."

Local offices declined to provide updates, as Amazon has asked people working in each region to sign non-disclosure agreements.

"I think over the last year, Amazon has been certainly gathering more information from the regional authorities that are making the bids and proposals and withering down their list," said Tatikonda. "It’ll be interesting to see what their next step is. It is entirely possible they’ll choose one or two sites to move forward on and that’s the end of the entire search process. It’s also possible they put out a short-short list of say five different regions."

The professor says if another round takes place, cities still in the running may offer more incentives to lure Amazon to their community.

"Sometimes offers that are made are drafts and changes could be made," Tatikonda said. "As part of the negotiation with Amazon, it’s to the region’s benefit to not have every detail aired."

Tatikonda said he doesn't believe Indianapolis' chances have changed much over the last year, but his guess is just speculation.

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