To win Amazon, don’t compete—collaborate

Amazon’s campus in Seattle, where it has more than 40,000 employees

Both New York City and Newark made the list of finalists for Amazon’s new headquarters, along with 18 other cities, from Toronto to Miami to Los Angeles. It’s obvious what comes next: Amazon wants each city to compete for the prize of 50,000 jobs, adding tax breaks and other sweeteners to their proposal. It is a tried-and-true practice for businesses that are looking to move or expand, one that leads to states and cities cannibalizing one another for smaller and smaller benefits.

New York and New Jersey have a long history of bidding each other down to win jobs. Mayor Ed Koch famously produced an ad showing him guarding a boarded-up Holland Tunnel, daring any attempt to lure companies across the Hudson River.

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Regional Spotlight: Office and Mixed-Use Projects Drive Growth in ...

Regional Spotlight: Office and Mixed-Use Projects Drive Growth in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic

The first phase of the multibillion-dollar development the Wharf opened in Washington, D.C., in October. One of the largest active real estate developments in the District, the Wharf is a mile-long (1.6 km) waterside neighborhood that stretches across 24 acres (10 ha) of land and more than 50 acres (20 ha) of water. (Hoffman-Madison Waterfront)

After years of planning, the first phase of one of Washington, D.C.’s most ambitious projects, the Wharf, opened in October with restaurants and shops along cobblestone walkways, in addition to residences, offices, a live music venue, and public parks, all with dramatic views of the Potomac River.

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