ATLANTA — Amazon promised $5 billion in construction and more than 50,000 high-paying jobs to transform one American city.

Instead, the tech giant threw a curveball in the last moments of its search for a second headquarters - instead of one HQ2, there will now be two. 

New York and the D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia were chosen as the sites that will split the headquarters. Nashville was also chosen as a "hub of operations."

Atlanta, got nothing.

"I think the split was the surprising part," said Brad Dillman, the Chief Economist for Cortland. "I didn't have Atlanta as a contender for a variety of reasons." 

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But what Amazon promised and what the company has delivered appear to be two separate things. While there was initial talk of transforming a major American city with the arrival of the headquarters, instead, the company chose two of the most established cities in the country.

Some critics argue the company leveraged tax incentives and used the year-long beauty contest as a way of learning important information about markets across the country.

Despite that, Dillman said one positive for Atlanta residents is they don't have to worry about the negative impacts to the housing market that often accompanies Amazon.