HQ2 (Over 17 Years):
Pittsburgh (with SouthSide Works expansion):
37,000 square feet
8.1 million square feet
HQ2 (Over 17 years):
8 million square feet
Don’t ask Alexa where to “warsh” the car. She’s probably going to spit out her catch-all for queries that she can’t compute: “Sorry, I didn’t get that.” But fear not. Dozens of engineers are working on the Alexa machine translation team at Amazon’s SouthSide Works office, and the staff is growing — HQ2 or not. Plus, a team of Pittsburgh-based researchers is a finalist in the Alexa Prize competition, which wants to build a conversational chatbot for Amazon.
It’s enough to feed Pittsburgh’s long-held inferiority complex. Amazon has scoured Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, and even cross-state rival Philadelphia — apparently 10 of the 20 finalists in all — in its search for a second headquarters.
Hazelwood residents know that Amazon, or another major company, may move into the neighborhood. “We know something is coming, but how will it affect our daily lives?” asked Jessica Petho, who grew up near the Glenwood Bridge, where the Monongahela River embraces the neighborhood in a bell-shaped curve.
While Amazon and its boosters tout the company’s expansion in Seattle as an economic success story, some locals have their own terms for it — “Amageddon” or “Amazocalypse.”
Pittsburgh has landed on the mother of all top 20 lists. The Steel City is one of 20 metro areas to make the cut in the frenzied competition for Amazon’s prized second headquarters.
Even without putting a second headquarters here, the Seattle e-commerce giant has built a sizable presence in the Keystone state — one that has increased dramatically since 2013.
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are both going to court to keep the details in the region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters a secret.