24 Sep, 2018FORTUNE.COM
It’s been one year since Amazon launched its search for a second headquarters location, and while CEO Jeff Bezos has yet to announce a final pick, Sperling’s Best Places researchers think they know which lucky town will be selected: Oatlands, Virginia.
This unincorporated area is in Loudoun County, Virginia, which lies roughly 35 miles west of Washington D.C. According to Best Places, the county will soon have a rapid transit system and is located conveniently close to Dulles International airport.
The D.C. area also provides the advantage of being on the east coast, with swifter access to Europe compared to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. It’s near Bezos’s home and the offices of his Washington Post. D.C.--and also provides easy access to the political sphere, into which internet moguls are increasingly being pulled.
Oatlands in particular, however, is a unique pick. Loudoun County has some decently-sized cities, such as Leesburg, but Best Places believes Amazon will choose Oatlands, whose current call to fame is the Oatlands Plantation, a historic estate built in the early 1800s.
While Oatlands may not currently have the resources to handle an influx of 50,000 new Amazon employees (plus their families and the support businesses that follow, which Best Places estimates could number an additional 140,000 residents), Amazon is willing to invest. The company already said it’s expecting to spend upwards of $5 billion in construction; it just needs a place to break ground.
Bezos is expected to announce Amazon’s pick for HQ2 by the end of the year.