Amazon Narrows H2Q Contenders to Top 20

Amazon has narrowed its hunt for a second headquarters to 20 locations, concentrated among cities in the U.S. East and Midwest. Toronto made the list as well, keeping the company's international options open.

The online retailer said Thursday that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places like Boston and New York. Other contenders include Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest.

Los Angeles was the only West Coast city on the list. Both Texas and Pennsylvania had two cities that made the cut: Austin, Dallas, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are being considered.

Officials in cities that made the short took the opportunity to further tout their cities, with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney noting "all that Philadelphia has to offer" and officials in Allegheny County, including Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto citing the region's "world-class talent pool" and other advantages.

The other contenders: Denver, Washington D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Amazon.com Inc. said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

The company's announcement last fall that it was looking for a second home launched a fierce competition among cities looking to lure Amazon and its promise of 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

State and local governments played up the amenities they think make their locations the best choice for Amazon's second headquarters. Other's pulled off stunts to standout, such as New York, which lit the Empire State Building in Amazon orange. Some stunts didn't work: Tucson, Arizona, which sent a 21-foot tall cactus to Seattle, did not make the list. Neither did Birmingham, Alabama, which installed giant replicas of Amazon's Dash buttons.

The company had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million...

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