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Miami makes the Amazon cut: City in the running for company’s second headquarters

In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. Mark Lennihan AP
In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. Mark Lennihan AP

Amazon narrowed its list of potential cities for a second headquarters on Thursday, and Miami made the cut.

The online retail giant received 238 applications for what may be the most competitive corporate recruitment effort in history as the company promises to generate about $5 billion in the city it chooses to build a second headquarters employing some 50,000 people. The narrowed list announced by the Seattle-based company includes major metropolitan areas from across the country, starting with Atlanta and ending with Washington, D.C. In the alphabetical roster of “HQ2” finalists, Miami is listed between Los Angeles and Montgomery County, Md., a prosperous D.C. suburb.

While Amazon is being offered lavish subsidy packages and incentives by some jurisdictions, Miami is expected to come up short on that front given the backlash over so-called “corporate welfare” in Florida, according to a Moody’s analysis. Miami’s role as the financial hub for Latin America and a premiere international gateway is expected to be a plus, while traffic and poor transit has already been cited by Miami-Dade County’s commission chair Esteban “Steve” Bovo as a significant downside.

Though dubbed a “Miami” bid, the application was submitted by economic-development arms of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The details largely remain a secret, with Miami-Dade not responding to requests to make the application public.

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