Amazon HQ2 officials reportedly visit Chicago and Miami, keeping speculation alive until the very end

(GeekWire Photo)

New reports about Amazon’s visits to two cities in the running for the company’s second headquarters are stirring up fresh speculation about the status of the company’s search.

Anonymous sources told the South Florida Business Journal that Amazon employees affiliated with the HQ2 search returned to Miami in recent weeks.

PREVIOUSLY: Amazon is staffing up in these HQ2 finalist cities as second headquarters decision nears

The Chicago Tribune reports that members of the Amazon HQ2 selection team returned to the Windy City in August to take another look at a proposed site for the campus, citing anonymous sources familiar with the visit. Amazon declined to comment on the reports.

The purported return visits are fueling speculation that the Seattle-based e-commerce company is still debating where to locate its $5 billion second headquarters, which will house up to 50,000 employees.

Many analysts are predicting Northern Virginia to have the best chances out of the 20 cities in the running for the second headquarters but recent news reports show that the epic guessing game Amazon launched last September will likely endure right up until the company reveals the winning city. Amazon promises to make its announcement by the end of the year.

It’s worth noting that the reported visits to Chicago and Miami don’t mean the D.C. region is no longer a frontrunner. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos visited Washington, D.C. last month for a series of talks and appointments, reportedly bringing members of the board with him.

Amazon HQ2, wherever it lands, won’t be the only city outside Seattle where the tech giant staffs up. Amazon has satellite offices in cities across North America and plans to continue growing those teams in addition to its future dual headquarters.