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Old 01-29-2018, 07:54 AM
 
163 posts, read 258,761 times
Reputation: 363

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Quote:
Originally Posted by brown_dog_us View Post
I doubt they go as far out as Alpharetta, but the Doraville site is definitely one they will be looking at. It's easy to see employees getting to work by car or train from most of the metro area, and that's the big attraction for sites like this. Car-centric employees can easily drive in from the suburbs and intown people can easily use transit to commute out to the site. Each type of employee gets to use their prefered method of transportation.

Sites like the gulch and Alpharetta have to overcome this. It's hard to court employees who prefer suburban living if they have to drive or city employees who don't want to drive all the way out to the burbs.

Doraville is sort of a goldilocks location.
Here's the verbiage directly from the RFP for what Amazon seems to prefer.

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:
• An urban or downtown campus
• A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
• A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think
creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline



Doraville may be development-ready, but it's lacking in urban character and doesn't have the transit connectivity of The Gulch if the MMPT becomes reality. I remember reading somewhere that 20% of Amazon's workers in Seattle walk to work. If they're looking to replicate that, downtown makes the most sense with high-rise options in Midtown and Downtown, and close-in single-family neighborhoods like Vine City and the West End will rapidly gentrify. If they can get another 20% to take mass transit, then that's less money they need to shell out building parking garages.

The scale of what they're looking to build is most suitable to an urban location with a variety of transit options. Amazon is looking to build 8-million sf. The Sears Tower itself is only 4.5-million sf. One World Trade is 2.6-million sf. The Bank of America Plaza is 1.3-million sf. While most of what will be built will be spread across several buildings, what we're looking at is the potential for a new super-tall skyscraper or two. I like the idea of Amazon looking to make an architectual statement that would complement the MB Stadium and would be prominent in all those aerial shots of downtown during a sporting event (free advertising).

Also, don't forget the cluster effect of Tech Square. Tech workers job hop a lot, so it's easier to attract people if they just have to get off three or four more stops on MARTA when they leave their job at AT&T or NCR for Amazon. I know people who refuse to take lucrative tech positions at even a near-ITP location like The Home Depot HQ in Vinings, let alone Alpharetta or Gwinnett.

The best hope for the Doraville site would be if Apple decides to locate there. Apple has a suburban, insular HQ in Cupertino that seems to be part of the cultural DNA of the company unlike Amazon.

Last edited by cparker73; 01-29-2018 at 08:11 AM..

 
Old 01-29-2018, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,181 posts, read 1,760,663 times
Reputation: 776
https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/...uburbs/551108/

Despite having stayed in the City of Seattle through years of runaway corporate growth, Amazon may consider following Apple and Facebook to the ‘burbs this time around.

Instead of exacerbating an affordable-housing crisis in a pricey urban center, Amazon could help build a model of an inclusive urban suburb.

In Doraville, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta, a plan is already under way to build a “mini-city” called Assembly on the 165-acre site of a defunct General Motors plant near a MARTA stop. An urban-style HQ2 here could significantly boost daily ridership on MARTA—lending momentum to that system’s hopes of expansion—and would promote transit-oriented development in a region that’s not known for it.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 08:12 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
22,796 posts, read 34,841,282 times
Reputation: 14922
Quote:
Originally Posted by brown_dog_us View Post
I doubt they go as far out as Alpharetta, but the Doraville site is definitely one they will be looking at. It's easy to see employees getting to work by car or train from most of the metro area, and that's the big attraction for sites like this. Car-centric employees can easily drive in from the suburbs and intown people can easily use transit to commute out to the site. Each type of employee gets to use their prefered method of transportation.

Sites like the gulch and Alpharetta have to overcome this. It's hard to court employees who prefer suburban living if they have to drive or city employees who don't want to drive all the way out to the burbs.

Doraville is sort of a goldilocks location.
If I were making the decision, I would give Doraville serious consideration for these very reasons.
But I'm not Bezos, nor am I on his search committee.

I keep going back to the relocation history of Amazon in Seattle. The company was founded in suburban Bellevue; when the need for more space arose, their first move was to the former Pacific Medical Center. The building is well known in Seattle due to its Art Deco style and its eponymous location on a hill overlooking downtown and the bay.

http://www.abkj.com/uploads/big/4fea...7_pacmed-1.jpg


When the company began hitting its stride, a search began for a bona fide headquarters befitting their new status; it brought them to the South Lake Union neighborhood. SLU was a nondescript and largely industrial area, but it was close-in to town and at the confluence of several desirable and very walkable neighborhoods: Belltown, Seattle Center, Denny Regrade, Lower Queen Anne Hill, Capitol Hill. Needless to say, Amazon's presence there has been completely transformative.

https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-c...43-780x540.jpg

Will they follow suit if they come to Atlanta? Some points in the RFP would suggest so:

In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has a preference for:

 Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
 A stable and business-friendly environment
 Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
 Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:

An urban or downtown campus
A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
 A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think
creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....516043504_.pdf

So really, more than any site the Gulch or the Stitch most mirror their choice in Seattle.
On the other hand, nothing in the RFP bullets rules Doraville out, either.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Chamblee, GA
305 posts, read 194,964 times
Reputation: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by cparker73 View Post
I know people who refuse to take lucrative tech positions at even a near-ITP location like The Home Depot HQ in Vinings, let alone Alpharetta or Gwinnett.
I remember being in an interview where the recruiter was embarrassed to ask if I was okay with a commute to Midtown, as she had ran into the experience of people not wanting to consider a job more than 5 miles away often enough.

That being said, who knows. A lot of people in Seattle also commute 1.5 hours via train as well.

Honestly, part of me wants to encourage it going to the southside of Atlanta, because I want to see those area's grow a lot more.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 09:09 AM
 
4 posts, read 1,344 times
Reputation: 15
Including Alpharetta in the proposal is such a joke and complete waste of Amazon's valuable time. It has zero viability with out mass transit
 
Old 01-29-2018, 09:23 AM
 
29,247 posts, read 26,183,299 times
Reputation: 10208
Quote:
Originally Posted by brown_dog_us View Post
I doubt they go as far out as Alpharetta, but the Doraville site is definitely one they will be looking at. It's easy to see employees getting to work by car or train from most of the metro area, and that's the big attraction for sites like this. Car-centric employees can easily drive in from the suburbs and intown people can easily use transit to commute out to the site. Each type of employee gets to use their prefered method of transportation.

Sites like the gulch and Alpharetta have to overcome this. It's hard to court employees who prefer suburban living if they have to drive or city employees who don't want to drive all the way out to the burbs.

Doraville is sort of a goldilocks location.
There's much to be said for the Doraville site. It's easily accessible to both ITP and OTP.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Chamblee, GA
305 posts, read 194,964 times
Reputation: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_line View Post
Including Alpharetta in the proposal is such a joke and complete waste of Amazon's valuable time. It has zero viability with out mass transit
So mass transit is the only argument?

Here are just some of the core preferences:

Forty-five minutes from an international airport.

Thirty miles from major population centers.

No more than two miles from major highways.

Direct, on-site access to mass transit.

Able to accommodate up to 8M SF of office in the next 15 to 20 years (to put that into perspective, that 8 of the AT&T Midtown towers, or of the State Farm buildings clustered together. Picture that in a place like the Gulch )

Do I think that the lack of MARTA rail impacts it, sure, but you acts like it's the only thing that will determine its outcome of its placement. The argument that if Amazon drops in Alpharetta or someplace like Gwinnett Place, and the "they will build a line out there" is also a bit... unique, since that'd cost billions of dollars. Also, keep in mind, it's not like Amazon is relocating it's HQ and all of its employee's, it'll be hiring from the local talent pool. Making the arguement of "their Seattle employee's all take public transit" is the same with my company. HQ'd in Seattle, 80% of employees there take public transportation, everyone in our east coast HQ commutes. It's not a big a deal as people make it out to be at the difference between sites.

I personally won't be surprised if its the GM plant location, or Fort McPherson site. Those two meet the most of the requirements IMO.

TL;DR - no matter where Amazon put's itself, it's going to suck for someone depending on where they live, and they'll just have to suck it up, be it commute or transit.

I'm going to be more fascinated by the salary wars that could ensue following this
 
Old 01-29-2018, 09:53 AM
 
3,257 posts, read 4,660,167 times
Reputation: 1887
Didn't Amazon say they were gonna try to develop a very similar campus to what they have in Seattle? Which is a neighborhood almost identical to South Downtown/the Gulch? And where someone is currently putting through planning and zoning a project to develop exactly 8MM SF of office space?

Be real people, if it's Atlanta, it's the gulch. I've advocated for Fort McPhearson and think it would be better for the city possibly, but it's gonna be the gulch.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 11:27 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,812,299 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by cparker73 View Post
Here's the verbiage directly from the RFP for what Amazon seems to prefer.

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:
• An urban or downtown campus
• A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
• A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think
creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline



Doraville may be development-ready, but it's lacking in urban character and doesn't have the transit connectivity of The Gulch if the MMPT becomes reality. I remember reading somewhere that 20% of Amazon's workers in Seattle walk to work. If they're looking to replicate that, downtown makes the most sense with high-rise options in Midtown and Downtown, and close-in single-family neighborhoods like Vine City and the West End will rapidly gentrify. If they can get another 20% to take mass transit, then that's less money they need to shell out building parking garages.

The scale of what they're looking to build is most suitable to an urban location with a variety of transit options. Amazon is looking to build 8-million sf. The Sears Tower itself is only 4.5-million sf. One World Trade is 2.6-million sf. The Bank of America Plaza is 1.3-million sf. While most of what will be built will be spread across several buildings, what we're looking at is the potential for a new super-tall skyscraper or two. I like the idea of Amazon looking to make an architectual statement that would complement the MB Stadium and would be prominent in all those aerial shots of downtown during a sporting event (free advertising).
Those are solid points.

I feel like if Amazon wants an urban campus they will pick somewhere like Philadelphia.

Atlanta's advantage is in the access to low cost housing in the suburbs with solid schools. You mentioned Vine City and the West End, but there is now way Amazon's target employees with kids will live there and send their kids to the local schools. Go check out the school ratings for Seattle's intown neighborhoods. Their better than suburban Atlanta's ratings. I think a lot of people on here are underestimating the need for high quality schools to recruit higher salary employees.

Also, if 20% of the employees take MARTA that will still leave 40k employees driving cars to work. That's a lot of cars to quickly move in and out of the gulch site, plus the need for all of those parking spots.

That's why I see a site like the one in Doravile as a goldilocks situation. Employees can live in town and take the train or live in Alpharetta and slog their way into work. Amazon will be able to hire from both labor pools for tech, logistics, finance, etc.
 
Old 01-29-2018, 11:34 AM
 
1,705 posts, read 957,877 times
Reputation: 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormhammer View Post
Amazon HQ2 bid - CBS46 News

Preview of one of the proposed sites.
Maybe, if Amazon is looking for a corporate campus like place. But I think they are looking for an authentic urban setting.
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