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A front-runner for Amazon’s HQ2 appears to be emerging

Jeff Bezos. (Credit from left: DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian)

Amazon seems to have an interest in being near the capital; it shortlisted three cities in the Washington, D.C. metro area as potential sites for its second headquarters, and some say there are more clues supporting the theory.

According to Business Insider, Northern Virginia’s reputation for housing data centers–it is reported that about 70 percent of American internet traffic flows through the area’s so-called Data Center Alley–has already led Amazon to plan a 600,000-square-foot data center and campus for its Virginia Amazon Web Services office in the area.

Then there’s the company’s general interest in being increasingly present in Washington, which has been documented through its increased lobbying efforts; over the past five years, the company’s spending on lobbying has increased more than 400 percent and nearly doubled the lobbyists it employees, as Bloomberg reports.

Finally, in 2016, Jeff Bezos bought two properties that cumulatively amount to a space of 27,000 square feet in area of Kalorama, a neighborhood known for its well-to-do residents. Bezos dropped $23 million on the properties and, once converted into a single-family home as he’s reported to be planning, it will be the largest home in the capital.

The search for Amazon’s HQ2 location is expected to wrap up within the year, with Amazon announcing one winner from its 20-city shortlist. [Business Insider] Erin Hudson

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