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Amazon narrows its HQ2 list down to these 20 cities

The retailer expects to decide on the location for its second headquarters this year. These are the candidates.

Amazon is one step closer to planting a flag for its second headquarters.

The world's largest online retailer announced the final 20 selections Thursday for its HQ2. The list was whittled down from the submitted proposals from 238 communities in the US, Canada and Mexico. 

  • Atlanta 

  • Austin, Texas 

  • Boston

  • Chicago

  • Columbus, Ohio

  • Dallas

  • Denver

  • Indianapolis

  • Los Angeles

  • Miami

  • Montgomery County, Maryland

  • Nashville, Tennessee

  • Newark, New Jersey 

  • New York City

  • Northern Virginia

  • Philadelphia

  • Pittsburgh

  • Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Toronto

  • Washington D.C.

Amazon, currently headquartered in Seattle, began its search for a "second home"in early September of last year and stopped accepting proposals on Oct. 19. Amazon said HQ2 will be equal to its Seattle headquarters -- not a satellite location -- and expects to spend more than $5 billion on the project. The company estimates HQ2 will add as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 15 to 17 years. 

To land HQ2, candidates made some extreme gestures. Tucson, Arizona, sent a 21-foot saguaro cactus to the tech giant. New York lit several landmark buildings in "Amazon orange." And the city of Stonecrest, Georgia, offered to rename a part of itself Amazon, Georgia.

In the announcement, Amazon said it "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."

Amazon expects to make a decision sometime this year.

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