Here is the secret reason Dallas is a finalist for Amazon’s HQ2

Hint: It's not the BBQ

Amazon plans to split its second headquarters evenly between two locations rather than picking one city, according to a person familiar with the matter, a surprise decision that will spread the impact of a massive new office across two communities, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.

The article says the finalists are Crystal City, Virginia, which is near Ronald Reagan International Airport; Washington D.C.; Dallas; and New York City; the winners may be announced by the end of this week.

Each of the two communities can expect around 25,000 new jobs, a stronger housing market and an influx of new, tech talent.

The WSJ also reports that one finalist, Dallas, “has a lower cost of living and public-private partnership incentives, in the form of tax abatements, grants, infrastructure cost sharing and other methods to offset project and operational costs. It is also in Texas, which doesn’t levy personal income taxes.”

But they’ve also left out that Dallas is one of largest mortgage lending and servicing ecosystems in the nation.

When Amazon moves into mortgages, likely with an acquisition and a rebrand, as with Zillow’s latest purchase of Mortgage Lenders of America, it will be better positioned to serve the industry with a Dallas location. If Amazon wants to be successful in getting into home lending, it would help to start by moving there, as there is already an existing pool of mortgage lending talent to draw from.

So why two locations?

"Amazon has wanted to avoid being the only large company in town, something it has dealt with in Seattle, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking," wrote Laura Stevens. "Adding 50,000 workers—even over more than a decade—would likely cause some hiccups for transit systems and potentially lead to issues like a lack of affordable housing."

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