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View Poll Results: Where?
New York City 16 3.10%
Greater Boston 32 6.20%
Philly 38 7.36%
DC/N. Virginia 50 9.69%
Raleigh/NC Research Triangle 32 6.20%
Austin 48 9.30%
San Francisco/Bay Area/Silicon Valley 13 2.52%
Baltimore 11 2.13%
Toronto 33 6.40%
Pittsburgh 35 6.78%
Chicago 99 19.19%
Atlanta 109 21.12%
Voters: 516. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-18-2018, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
13,093 posts, read 13,477,370 times
Reputation: 5766

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The poll needs updated

 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:12 AM
 
146 posts, read 257,796 times
Reputation: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Miami is a seemingly odd choice, but it might have been helped by being a potential de facto Latin American and Caribbean headquarters.

Also, Bezos went to high school in Miami, so he has a personal connection to the city.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:13 AM
 
2,512 posts, read 2,265,374 times
Reputation: 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
But they eliminated the other Boston area bids because there is no point to putting two identical bids in the final 20. D.C. Is unique that it's metro has 3 very distinct entries that that offer different tax structures in the core of the metro
Either way. Glad to see such strong representation from the NE.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:19 AM
 
766 posts, read 2,269,390 times
Reputation: 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
Awesome post. I wouldn't worry about the tech demographics of any of these cities. If you build it, they will come, see Seattle, Austin, Denver, etc.
Thanks for the kind words.

That being said, I do think the tech demographics are important. In tech, the equivalent of "beachfront real estate" is how close they are to universities churning out tech talent. Silicon Valley is obviously the king of this with its proximity Stanford and Berkeley. The cities that you mentioned (Seattle, Austin and Denver) didn't have tech workforce populations come out of thin air - they all have or are right next to universities that produce a ton of tech talent (Washington, Texas and Colorado, respectively). These companies need both quality AND quantity (which is why proximity to Ivy League schools or similar elite private universities outside of Stanford or place like Boston that has multiple elite schools is overrated in this process since they have the quality but not the quantity, while large flagship universities can provide both).

So, if there's one common thread among all of the cities on this top 20 list, it's that they're all either have large amounts of university talent located within or very close to their metro areas (e.g. Austin, Denver, Raleigh and even the "surprise" picks of Indianapolis and Columbus) or is a magnet for such universities (e.g. Chicago for the Big Ten schools, Dallas for the Big 12 schools, Atlanta for the SEC schools, NYC draws nationally, etc.). With one exception (described below), all of those cities have a young tech base and pipeline that they're working from, so none of them are really "If you build it, they will come" situations (which is why Amazon likely found them to be attractive).

The only exception on the list seems to be Miami - it doesn't have that educational pipeline and access that all 19 other cities on the list have. Now, Miami has a very positive profile among young people and draws a lot of transplants from across the country, so it's one of the few places that could plausibly have an "If you build it, they will come" argument because it has proven that it can get people to move there *despite* its economic and educational flaws. Indeed, Miami's real estate market is essentially dictated by a large swath of people that are from somewhere else or even live somewhere else for most of the year. Miami is a very special case in that respect.

In contrast, the "If you build it, they will come" argument wasn't ever going to work for, say, Buffalo or Rochester. (Not to pick on those cities, but those places came to the top of my head.) When you're hiring nationally like Amazon is for talent, there's still a threshold for what's realistic in terms of getting someone to move somewhere. Executive recruiters are well aware of which cities take a LOT of selling to get someone to move versus the cities that sell themselves (and companies are increasingly moving to the latter).
 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,842 posts, read 19,413,421 times
Reputation: 5697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
It's all good man. PG didn't make it and Nova/Moco/Indianapolis did... that's the factual story and you can twist or reflect on that story however you want but considering Marriot just chose to keep in headquarters in Moco, Nestle just moved to Arlington and that most companies based in the area are in Nova, Moco and DC should suggest PG's weakness is attracting companies.
I thought it was odd to select MoCo and Nova, but not PG County. It seems like they are interested in the DC area, so why exclude PG County? PG County does lack a vibrant walkable business district though. There is no Bethesda or Silver Spring or Roslyn in PG County.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:58 AM
 
1,702 posts, read 1,363,427 times
Reputation: 1743
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I thought it was odd to select MoCo and Nova, but not PG County. It seems like they are interested in the DC area, so why exclude PG County? PG County does lack a vibrant walkable business district though. There is no Bethesda or Silver Spring or Roslyn in PG County.
I was kind of surprised since PG County has done a somewhat good job of re-branding the county as a whole especially recently with attracting MGM and since DC has become super expensive, there are some millennials moving to places like Hyattsville to still be close in but even with that the county still has a pretty bad reputation.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 10:59 AM
 
608 posts, read 435,238 times
Reputation: 671
Could it simply be that the top 20 put forward really great proposals?
Other cities may seem stronger to us but could it be that their proposals were not as strong as the chosen 20?
 
Old 01-18-2018, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Funky Town, Texas
4,135 posts, read 7,188,135 times
Reputation: 2149
Virtually the top ten largest metro’s minus Houston made the list. The list was very predictable.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,842 posts, read 19,413,421 times
Reputation: 5697
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVA_guy View Post
I was kind of surprised since PG County has done a somewhat good job of re-branding the county as a whole especially recently with attracting MGM and since DC has become super expensive, there are some millennials moving to places like Hyattsville to still be close in but even with that the county still has a pretty bad reputation.
But what do they really have to offer other than locations near Metro? PG County doesn't really have any vibrant urban business districts. Not that Amazon couldn't have build one from scratch near a Metro station office district.

I was really hoping Baltimore would have been short listed too.

I really think most of these cities are just wishful thinking though. I can't see them going to Nashville, Raleigh, Columbus etc. I think they will end up in Boston, DC, Atlanta or Toronto.
 
Old 01-18-2018, 11:16 AM
 
14 posts, read 8,001 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
Thanks for the kind words.
In contrast, the "If you build it, they will come" argument wasn't ever going to work for, say, Buffalo or Rochester. (Not to pick on those cities, but those places came to the top of my head.) When you're hiring nationally like Amazon is for talent, there's still a threshold for what's realistic in terms of getting someone to move somewhere. Executive recruiters are well aware of which cities take a LOT of selling to get someone to move versus the cities that sell themselves (and companies are increasingly moving to the latter).
And this is exactly why my top contenders are Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, and Dallas. Amazon will not only need tech talent, but other smart people for the other roles at HQ2 (e.g., legal staff, human resources, finance). To me, regional satellite cities like Raleigh, Indy, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Nashville are a very hard sale to new hires who are relocating, whether they are 22 and just out of college or 45 and relocating their families. High cost of living cities like Boston, New York (Newark), D.C. (DMV) and Philly similarly seem like a non-starter. Why pay $225K for a senior in house lawyer in New York when you can pay her $160K in Austin or Atlanta? And while that new finance hire may just love being in a bustling city like NYC at 22, by 30 she’s probably married, wants space for her growing family, and wants to see her money go further. What’s that saying for NYC – you either have to be young, rich, or from there?

That leaves Los Angeles (which I think is too geographically close to Seattle to make sense), Toronto (which I think could be a PR nightmare given we really need more US jobs), Denver (too geographically close still I think), and Miami (for which I have no real reason to exclude save the fact that it doesn’t strike me as a city you put your HQ in).

Candidly, I think it’s between Austin and Atlanta. And I also think Amazon has already narrowed the decision to 3-5 candidates and that many of these cities are frankly filler to keep us talking.
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