LONDON - Amazon has announced plans to open a second headquarters in North America that will employ as many as 50,000 workers.
The company announced Thursday that it is searching for a city to host the new "HQ2" facility, which will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate.
"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "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 said it would prefer to open the headquarters in a suburban or urban area with more than 1 million people. It's looking for a community that "thinks big" and a location that will attract technical talent.
The company said that while it would hire teams and executives for the new location, employees who currently work in Seattle would be offered the chance to relocate.
Cities and regional economic development organizations have been invited to submit proposals, and they will likely scramble to offer incentives and tax breaks for Amazon to consider their area.
Amazon estimates that its investments in Seattle from 2010 to 2016 added $38 billion to the city's economy. These investments include retail space in its buildings and public spaces such as parks. Its headquarters in Seattle boasts 33 buildings and 24 restaurants or cafes. It covers 8.1 million square feet.
The announcement of Amazon's second headquarters is a part of a larger effort from Amazon to grow its footprint at home and abroad.
In January, the company announced plans to create over 100,000 new full-time jobs in the U.S. It's been steadily announcing new fulfillment centers.
Amazon also recently closed its $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods as it expands into the groceries market and brick-and-mortar stores. Meanwhile, it will start selling its branded smart home devices at Amazon bookstores and retailers like Kohl's soon.