ROI-NJ Exclusive: 4 cities advance in N.J.’s Amazon application process

Four cities have been told by New Jersey officials that they have advanced to the second round of consideration to earn the state’s recommendation for the coveted Amazon HQ2 headquarters, ROI-NJ has learned.

Newark, Jersey City, New Brunswick and Camden have all been asked to provide additional information regarding their bids, according to an official with knowledge of the application process.

The official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the process, said the four rank atop the approximately 20 municipalities that sent in a proposal to the state Economic Development Authority.

“What you have is four proposals that are really top-notch,” the official said.

Where the process goes from here is not as clear.

The four have been instructed to send answers to questions about their application by the end of next week.

Soon after, the EDA will forward those proposals to Gov. Chris Christie. Christie could select one, all or a combination that would apply to Amazon with the state’s backing.

The potential that two bids, such as Newark and Jersey City, could be combined into one also is a possibility.

In addition, every municipality that submitted an application to the state is still able to apply to Amazon directly. Such an application would not have New Jersey’s formal support, however.

As for what the governor may ultimately do, the official said: “That’s way above my pay grade. It is up to him and his team to decide.”

Earlier this year, Amazon announced it was seeking a location for a second headquarters, which could bring $5 billion in spending and as many as 50,000 employees to the chosen state. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is expected to receive bids from all over the continent.