LA Region Loses Out in Amazon HQ Derby, But LAEDC Sees a Silver Lining


Los Angeles may have lost out on its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, but the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. said there was a silver lining for the city in the tech giant’s decision: The partnerships and cooperation among the county’s many jurisdictions during the Amazon bid process should boost future business attraction and retention efforts.

“Through this process we strengthened partnerships and learned even more amazing things about LA County, and we will bring those to future business attraction efforts that we regularly conduct at LAEDC,” Chief Executive Bill Allen said in a statement.

Allen pointed out that Amazon already has a substantial presence in Los Angeles County that he expects will continue to grow, including Amazon Studios in Culver City, a corporate office, recently acquired Ring in Santa Monica, and numerous Whole Foods and Amazon Book Store outlets.

After more than a year evaluating potential sites in the U.S. and Canada for its second headquarters, Amazon on Nov. 13 announced it has chosen to site headquarters facilities in Queens, NY, and Crystal City, Va., and open an operations center in Nashville, Tenn.

The LAEDC had coordinated bids from nine sites around the county, including two in downtown Los Angeles, one in the Warner Center business district in the San Fernando Valley, one in Santa Clarita/Newhall Ranch, one in Pomona and one in Inglewood. The other four sites were never publicized.

The Los Angeles region’s growing tech community, substantial talent pool and broad logistics industry helped propel the region onto the list of 20 finalists for a second headquarters that Amazon announced in January.

Amazon executives did make several low-profile site visits in the region, according to the LAEDC, but the Seattle-based company ultimately decided to place its three additional headquarters/operations facilities east of the Mississippi River.

Education, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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