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Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com announced Thursday that it is seeking a second North American headquarters with up to 50,000 jobs.

In a statement, the company founded and run by billionaire Jeff Bezos said its “HQ2” would cost about $5 billion to build and operate.

The company, which is currently soliciting bids for the project, said it would prioritize metropolitan areas with more than one million people and that it was encouraging interested communities to think “big” and “creatively” about possible locations. 

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Amazon said HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon — not a satellite office. It said it expects to hire new teams and executives in HQ2, and will also let existing senior leaders across the company decide whether to locate their teams. 

Employees currently working in HQ1 can choose to continue working there, or they could have an opportunity to move if they would prefer to be located in HQ2, it said.  

“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Bezos said.

“Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

Amazon estimated that its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy. 

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