Amazon posts top 20 HQ2 candidate cities

After months of speculation and excitement, Amazon has narrowed down its list of 238 cities vying for its second headquarters to 20, the e-commerce giant announced Thursday.

In September, Amazon released plans to invest more than $5 billion in a second company headquarters in North America — which it has dubbed HQ2 — that will include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. Proposals were due in October.

Cities offered Amazon incentives, including tax breaks, to become Amazon's choice for the new campus, which was pitched as a full equal its Seattle headquarters that employs more than 40,000 people and drew an additional $38 billion to the city's economy from 2010 through 2016.

"In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company's hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community," reads the company's press release. "Amazon expects to make a decision in 2018."

The tech giant has said it would give preference to metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people and access to an international airport, mass transit, quality higher education, a highly educated workforce and a business-friendly environment.

Here are the 20 cities moving on to the next phase in Amazon's selection process:

1. Atlanta

2. Austin, Texas

3. Boston

4. Chicago

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Dallas

7. Denver

8. Indianapolis

9. Los Angeles

10. Miami

11. Montgomery County, Md.

12. Nashville, Tenn,

13. Newark, N.J.

14. New York City

15. Northern Virginia, Va.

16. Philadelphia

17. Pittsburgh, Pa.

18. Raleigh, N.C.

19. Toronto, Ontario

20. Washington, D.C.

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