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Amazon picks New York City, northern Virginia for HQ2

The company will also open in Nashville a new "center of excellence" for its operations business that'll create more than 5,000 jobs.

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Amazon's headquarters in Seattle.

Shara Tibken/CNET

It's official. Amazon on Tuesday announced New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for new headquarters. The company plans to employee more than 25,000 people at each location.

More specifically, the locations are Long Island City in New York City's Queens borough and National Landing (a new name for the Crystal City neighborhood) in Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon also said it'll open in Nashville a "center of excellence" for its operations business that will handle the company's customer fulfillment, transportation and supply chain. The center will create more than 5,000 jobs, Amazon said in a blog post.

It was reported late Monday by The Wall Street Journal that the online retailing giant had chosen New York City and northern Virginia for its planned second headquarters  -- dubbed HQ2. 

Amazon's HQ2 gained attention as one of the biggest corporate projects in the US, with the e-retailer planning to hire 50,000 workers and spend $5 billion. The company fueled excitement about its plans by inviting cities to pitch themselves as sites for the development.

It was reported earlier this month that Amazon was examining the option of creating two separate 25,000-person campuses, in part due to the need to hire enough tech talent and partly to ease housing and traffic concerns. Two HQ2 projects would also ensure that Seattle remains Amazon's definitive headquarters.

The company's push to build a second home base highlights how massively Amazon has expanded during its 20-plus year history. It started as an online bookseller and now, in addition to being an internet purveyor of hundreds of millions of products, it's a cloud-computing juggernaut, an electronics maker, logistics and delivery operator and a Hollywood studio.

After growing in Seattle over the past two decades, the world's largest online retailer announced plans a year ago this month to create a second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, in North America. In January, the company announced the final 20 candidates for the location after whittling down the list from proposals submitted by 238 communities in the US, Canada and Mexico.

The Journal reported earlier this month that Amazon was in "late-stage discussions" with Crystal City in Virginia and with Dallas and New York City.

CNET's Ben Fox Rubin contributed to this report.

First published Nov. 12 at 6:36 p.m. PT.
Update, Nov. 13 at 7:14 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon announcement.

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