WSJ: Amazon wanted additional $1B in incentives for HQ2 deal

Amazon CEO and some of his top executives were seeking an additional $1 billion to be used for real estate deals on top of other incentives for its second headquarter location. (Pixabay)

During its search for a second headquarter location, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his leadership team were seeking $1 billion in additional economic incentives to be used in other real estate projects around the county, according to a story by The Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ reported on Thursday that Bezos and his team wanted the $1 billion on top of the other incentives the company expected to receive for its second headquarters, known as HQ2, in 2017.

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The $1 billion target was created by Bezos and his S-Team, according to the WSJ. The S-team is responsible for setting Amazon's cooperate policies and is comprised of some of its top executives. The WSJ said the large target goal was due to high capital investments in 2017.

Two years ago, Amazon announced it would split its headquarters between New York City's Long Island City neighborhood and Arlington, Virginia. Amazon was set to receive $3 billion in incentives, as well as $800 million in tax credits and grants. After facing a public outcry in New York over the incentives, Amazon ultimately abandoned its New York City H2Q plans in favor of locating second headquarters in Northern Virginia.

Amazon will break ground soon on the facility in northern Virginia, which offered the company $1 billion in incentives, according to the Journal.

A spokesperson for Amazon said that the company doesn’t have goals for the amount of incentives it receives.

“Like many other companies, we are eligible to access incentive programs created and regulated by cities and states to attract new investors—as they know that these investments pay a long-term dividend in the form of jobs, new economic opportunity, and incremental tax revenue,” the company said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The vast majority of these incentives are statutory and post-performance—Amazon is eligible only after having created and maintained a certain number of jobs within the community.”

The WSJ reported that the S-Team removed the $1 billion goal in 2018 because it wasn't the right measure of success and wasn't met in 2017. Instead of tax breaks, Amazon is now focusing more on transportation and workforce related incentives, the Journal said.