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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 09-12-2017, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,596 posts, read 3,733,916 times
Reputation: 4169

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I don't think Boston will happen. For all of Seattle's Amazon positives, I believe they are looking for a much lower cost city, one that tends to be socially liberal, very environmental, and in a different geographic region than Seattle. While Boston is socially liberal, and environmental, it kind of ends there. They need a Yin and Yang city to Seattle. I keep hearing Austin from my insider friends. Of course this is not a slam dunk. Should be interesting.

 
Old 09-12-2017, 10:23 PM
 
1,059 posts, read 1,082,783 times
Reputation: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justabystander View Post
According to the article, Boston is a good choice because it has a lower cost of living than many big cities. Really, Bloomberg? Sounds like a spin job to me early on.
it's cheaper than sf, nyc, and dc and a lot cheaper than european and asian tier-1 cities.
 
Old 09-12-2017, 10:35 PM
 
2,971 posts, read 2,759,551 times
Reputation: 6574
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
I don't get why getting a political convention is mentioned. Conventions require an adequately sized convention center, X number of hotel rooms and a big ass check to the political party from the city and state.

True, but their are two things that do dovetail well with the seeming desires of the RFP and potentially Bezos - I'm playing speculative analysis of Bezos brain here, because in these decisions, as much as the Corp Real Estate RFP qualities enter into the equation, there can be other factors involved.


1) Political Conventions are also influenced by the compact urban qualities mentioned in the RFP:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....516043504_.pdf


Ease of transit, access to an urban setting
Walkable / pedestrian
Sense of place / neighborhood

Now these can be organic (exist already) or be designed into a new campus like setting. Seattle's current campus is spread out in 32 buildings and from reading about their Seattle corporate campus they like this set up. Some other city's have shovel ready prime locations that could fit the bill easily like Baltimore's port site.

Cleveland has the unusual dichotomy of having many surface parking lots and developable land in the city core that can accommodate parts of the RFP specs (Urban towers on blank slate) and additional land which straddles the main transit hub and has an underused spur light rail line to a vast lakefront site.

One of the most beneficial outcomes of Cleveland holding the National Political Convention was the national and international press exposure on the cities legacy assets which many (who live here) take for granted and do not realize they are residual effects from the 19th century and early 20th century industrial powerhouse it was (cities like Chicago / Detroit / Cleveland / Pgh were the silicon valleys of their day) and are often in cities of greater size and stature. Also, if looking more 'regionally' in scope some smaller MSA's may be more desirable based on reach of recruitment.


From a talent recruitment perspective, not every tech exec type wants to live like a pauper on a six figure income in some "Gateway City" on the coast. Recently was talking with friend whose son or nephew lived in NYC making $120k and had to live with three roommates to make it work.

2) National Political Conventions are chosen often for "Political Capital Equity"


While many cities have specifications to meet some criteria, often times there can be much political equity gained by choosing a city / region for the narrative it may 'sell' (rejuvenating a market / city / appealing to a psychographic that can sway a large voting bloc to think favorably of you) and actual power in market you own the critical votes in the swing county of a swing state so you 'tip the scales' at just the right spot to have things go your way. The big fish in smaller pond makes negotiations always favorable to the shark.

Not saying Cleveland would get the choice but it could be something that depending on Bezos mindset may make him lean toward an eastern time zone Midwest USA city as North American HQ. He's seems a globalist at heart in the mold of modern day Marcus Hanna (the coal, steel, railroad industrialist) who promoted (and funded) a handful of presidential candidates in late 19th early 20th century.

Bezos purchase of Washington Post may be a way to begin such a narrative. If you coupled that with a positive economic power play in the Midwest region of USA where the Ds got their proverbial heads handed to them for abandoning the working class voter, there may be a good reason for him to consider a Detroit/ Cleveland / Pittsburgh / Baltimore type city over the traditional corp HQ cities like NYC/ Boston / DC/ Chicago/ Dallas, where, not only could his business interests sway local politics, but be a springboard for an 'anointed / groomed' more palatable moderate 'sounding' political leader(s) that would of course lay the foundation for continuing to do Amazon's legislative and regulatory bidding on command while arising out of the 'heart' of the country.

On the other hand Bezos 'other' brain may say, I think Las Vegas makes sense for a new HQ, cause my latest heartthrob lives there. You just never know the whims of these top guys making the final decision, but the obvious choice on a check list does not always get chosen once political power aspirations (and side interests) come into play - if they are there.

I think when they factor everything in it will involve N Va - Baltimore area as preferred location with lots of incentives and subsidies thrown at them.
 
Old 09-12-2017, 11:55 PM
 
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 936,068 times
Reputation: 1119
First, I think Amazon wants an Eastern time zone city which gets rid of a lot of contenders.
Second, they want a city with very good transit and a rail connection between downtown and the airport.
Third, they want a city that has a high quality of life, good public K to 12 schools, low crime, and a strong urbanity. This workforce is VERY highly educated and can get a job anywhere so they need to not only offer high wages but also in a city where the employees both would move to but also want to stay over the long term.

To me, the above narrows down the choices dramatically to just the following: Boston, NYC, Washington & Toronto, Montreal.

I don't think Amazon wants NYC or they simply would have announced it. Montreal has the disadvantage of not being able to draw enough skilled workers to a French speaking city and province and Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport is not very well connected.

To me this means we are down to 3 main contenders........Boston, Washington, and Toronto
 
Old 09-13-2017, 12:15 AM
 
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 936,068 times
Reputation: 1119
Continuing from my above post........

Boston, Washington, and Toronto all have a lot to offer Amazon.

Boston has unparalleled universities as well as any extremely high educated workforce in a liveable urban city with great transit. Boston has the problem however of being an expensive city where wages would need to be very high to draw talent.

Washington has great schools and good transit. It's workforce is very well educated and the city a pleasant one. It does have a crime issue that may be of concern and is not a very urbane city but conversely being in Washington puts the leavers of political power right at Amazon's doorstep.

Toronto has an excellent transit, a rail/airport connection good schools, an educated workforce, and a K to 12 public education system and low crime rate that no American city can offer. It is a very urbane centre, has the world's 8th largest stock exchange, and a very multicultural, liveral, artistic, and creative city. It also has the fastest growing high tech workforce in NA. Being Canada is also one of it's strengths as well as one of it's weaknesses. It offers Canada corporate tax rate that is 40% lower than the US and the dollar and slightly lower wage "subsidy" where 50,000 Canadians can be hired for the same price as 35,000 Americans. That's a huge savings year after year, decade after decade and not just a one time taxpayer funded bribe.

The problem with Toronto is that it is in Canada and in Trump's "America first, second, and last" presidency, it may prove to be too politically unpalatable.
 
Old 09-13-2017, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
7,184 posts, read 16,287,303 times
Reputation: 3474
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
According to Bloomberg, Amazon execs are pushing for Boston.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-headquarters
Boston would be a fine choice, but I think there are a couple of issues: One, while it clearly has the talent due to the world-class universities, the cost of employing that talent would be astronomical. Two, it is in a solidly blue state. More on that in a bit.

Like Boston, DC has been mentioned as a front-runner, for similar reasons: Has the talent, adds to geographic diversity being on the other coast from HQ1, already has a presence (although with Bezos owning the Washington Post + a home, vs. Amazon acquiring a company)... but shares similar issues with Boston -- too expensive to employ the talent they need, and it's a solidly blue area (DC Metro).

As far as Boston or DC having big Amazon/Bezos acquired companies already, neither are even close to the size of the Amazon acquisition in Austin -- Whole Foods. It's far larger than the Washington Post or Kiva Systems. Washington Post is a $300 Million company, Kiva was $774 million. Whole Foods was a $13.7 Billion company. So Amazon has a $13.7B presence in Austin.

Some people point to DC as an obvious choice due to Bezos' political leanings. However, Amazon is facing real antitrust concerns, especially with the current administration. Politically, survival of Amazon as a single company may indeed depend on them having a significant employee presence in an influential red state. With Texas, they already have that (with multiple large distribution centers + $13.7B Whole Foods division) -- and adding 50K employees would make that presence absolutely massive.

I agree with other posters that the location has already been selected, or at least narrowed down to only a few cities, and the whole RFP thing is merely a way to determine what the "market" will bear in terms of incentives. Whatever the best incentives are, they will get the pre-selected city to match.

So my feeling, on the ground here in Austin, is that we're the most likely candidate -- with Dallas as another likely option. It might have even been decided prior to the WF acquisition... if you are serious about expanding into to a city, you go ahead and buy stuff there. Otherwise I think it will go to Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, or Nashville. Dark horse candidate is Houston -- Bezos is a space fan and that's space city, it's a popular H1-B visa relocation city, plus they may have $100B+ of federal aid coming. Who knows what they could do with that in terms of "incentives" for "rebuilding" ??

Last edited by atxcio; 09-13-2017 at 12:45 AM..
 
Old 09-13-2017, 01:06 AM
 
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 936,068 times
Reputation: 1119
Austin doesn't have 2 of the main criteria: It has a near non-existent transit service and no downtown to airport express rail line. It is also in Texas, a very conservative state which may run counter to the image Amazon tries to maintain as a progressive forward thinking company. Austin is also not in the Eastern time zone which I think they want.
 
Old 09-13-2017, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,596 posts, read 3,733,916 times
Reputation: 4169
Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Boston would be a fine choice, but I think there are a couple of issues: One, while it clearly has the talent due to the world-class universities, the cost of employing that talent would be astronomical. Two, it is in a solidly blue state. More on that in a bit.

Like Boston, DC has been mentioned as a front-runner, for similar reasons: Has the talent, adds to geographic diversity being on the other coast from HQ1, already has a presence (although with Bezos owning the Washington Post + a home, vs. Amazon acquiring a company)... but shares similar issues with Boston -- too expensive to employ the talent they need, and it's a solidly blue area (DC Metro).

As far as Boston or DC having big Amazon/Bezos acquired companies already, neither are even close to the size of the Amazon acquisition in Austin -- Whole Foods. It's far larger than the Washington Post or Kiva Systems. Washington Post is a $300 Million company, Kiva was $774 million. Whole Foods was a $13.7 Billion company. So Amazon has a $13.7B presence in Austin.

Some people point to DC as an obvious choice due to Bezos' political leanings. However, Amazon is facing real antitrust concerns, especially with the current administration. Politically, survival of Amazon as a single company may indeed depend on them having a significant employee presence in an influential red state. With Texas, they already have that (with multiple large distribution centers + $13.7B Whole Foods division) -- and adding 50K employees would make that presence absolutely massive.

I agree with other posters that the location has already been selected, or at least narrowed down to only a few cities, and the whole RFP thing is merely a way to determine what the "market" will bear in terms of incentives. Whatever the best incentives are, they will get the pre-selected city to match.

So my feeling, on the ground here in Austin, is that we're the most likely candidate -- with Dallas as another likely option. It might have even been decided prior to the WF acquisition... if you are serious about expanding into to a city, you go ahead and buy stuff there. Otherwise I think it will go to Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, or Nashville. Dark horse candidate is Houston -- Bezos is a space fan and that's space city, it's a popular H1-B visa relocation city, plus they may have $100B+ of federal aid coming. Who knows what they could do with that in terms of "incentives" for "rebuilding" ??
Good post, and your thoughts on Texas are spot-on.
 
Old 09-13-2017, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,889 posts, read 3,010,861 times
Reputation: 3429
Probably meaningless but I've heard Denver officials are confident they are a finalist.
 
Old 09-13-2017, 06:19 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,121,777 times
Reputation: 15357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
Probably meaningless but I've heard Denver officials are confident they are a finalist.
Out of 20 other 'finalists'.
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