Amazon names DC, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County as finalists for 2nd headquarters

Amazon has named the District, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County among the 20 finalists for its new second headquarters.

The company said it expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction and the new headquarters would create 50,000 jobs. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the new headquarters would be "a full equal" to the company's current headquarters in Seattle.

A fierce competition was launched to lure Amazon, and the company said it received 238 proposals after its announcement in the fall. Officials from Virginia, Maryland and the District were said to be aggressively pursuing Amazon.

"As Washington, DC continues to grow and we continue our focus on creating pathways to the middle class for more Washingtonians, it would be a win for our residents and the region to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to our city," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a written statement. "Making this list reaffirms what we already knew going into the bid process - Washington, DC is no longer a one-company government town, we are a leader in innovation and tech, brimming with top talent and endless opportunity."

"This is tremendous news for Montgomery County, our entire state, and further proof that Maryland is truly open for business. Maryland put forward an extremely strong group of sites that were all supported by the state with incentive packages totaling more than $5 billion, including road and transit improvements," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a written statement. "Going forward, we will continue working with our partners in Montgomery County, including County Executive Ike Leggett and his team, to ensure that we do everything possible to bring this project home. This news is certainly welcome, but the real challenge lies ahead - and Maryland is ready to meet it."

"We couldn't be prouder that Northern Virginia has been selected as one of 20 candidate locations for this historic project," said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in a written statement. "The Commonwealth's strong proposals for the Amazon HQ2 project represent an unprecedented level of local and regional collaboration, as well as strong support from Governor McAuliffe's Administration and leaders in the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia's outstanding business climate and world-class workforce make our Commonwealth the right place for Amazon to place this key base of operations. We look forward to a continuing partnership with our Northern Virginia communities to show Amazon and job creators all over the world that the Commonwealth is the best place to locate and grow."

Most of the cities that made the shortlist were located along the East Coast and in the Midwest. The full list of finalists include:

The company had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

But Amazon also made it very clear that it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives.

The company said it would meet with officials from each of the 20 cities over the coming months and expects to have a decision about its final selection by the end of 2018.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.