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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 09-14-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,054,090 times
Reputation: 3925

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If you look at the RFP, it does't rule out Tacoma. We could all be missing an obvious answer.

 
Old 09-14-2017, 01:00 PM
 
7,702 posts, read 4,557,747 times
Reputation: 8414
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
So at this point, is there any city of significant size in North America that hasn't been mentioned at least once in speculation? For all we know, all the standard "great choices", including in the poll, aren't even on the short list.
Truthfully, there aren't a lot of great choices. There are no more than 10 to 15 cities that currently meet or could easily meet all of Amazon's demands (you can't get great universities or an international airport overnight). Some of those cities are prohibitively expensive and/or very close to Seattle.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 01:46 PM
 
766 posts, read 2,269,645 times
Reputation: 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
That's the irony of a HQ search in this case--everyone tends to direct their attention to the "very best" tech cities, but to a large degree they're "tapped out" in a number of ways (real estate bubbles and tight labor markets are NOT good for expanding businesses).

This is why large, still-attractive/dynamic cities, with large talent pools, but aren't quite "white hot" tech markets (nor astronomically-priced), like Chicago, Atlanta and Philly, are most logical.
Excellent point.

It doesn't make sense that Amazon would go to a place where it needs to export a lot of tech talent. The reality is that top tech and executive talent can afford to picky (both in terms of real estate costs and quality of life), so choosing a location that isn't already inherently attractive to such talent simply isn't realistic. Any executive recruiter that has to do a nationwide search can tell you the cities that are NOT attractive to top talent (and note that such list of cities can be very different than a list of the fastest-growing US cities since a lot of fast-growing cities are due to the preponderance of lower wage jobs). Amazon isn't doing this to have an altruistic feel-good story. Hence, I don't think Amazon will make a Detroit-type choice.

On the flip side, though, you do see companies in the hottest tech markets end up having a lot of salary wars for talent. NYC, Boston and DC all seem to fit into that category. So, places like Chicago, Atlanta and Philly and maybe Dallas and Denver, where they have tech talent readily available but aren't in markets where there's a feeding frenzy for such talent, seem to make more sense for Amazon on a macro-level. We'll see.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,021 posts, read 13,542,402 times
Reputation: 8045
People keep bringing up Boston as an option but all I keep asking myself is "WHERE in Boston?". The city itself is pretty developed and, off the top of my head, I can't think of any large tracks of land/space that would work for Amazon. Even if you branch it out to the metro area and include surrounding towns/cities like Cambridge, Quincy, Watertown, Newton, Milton, etc, it's pretty much all developed. IDK, I guess there are places in Dedham near the Dedham Mall (I haven't been out if that direction in over a decade), but that area is almost completely void of public transportation. Which brings me to my next point: once you start looking outside the Boston/Cambridge/Quincy metro area, public transportation options almost ceases to exist. Yes, there is the commuter rail, but nearly every large metro has some sort of commuter train service that brings in people from the 'burbs to the city core. I feel like when people say "Boston", they really mean Natick or Weymouth, or Lowell, or some other smaller town outside of Boston where the costs are lower but all the pros of choosing Boston in the first place are eliminated (e.g., public transportation, quick access to the airport, culture, etc).

I for one am hoping they don't choose Boston-- the city is pricey enough for the people already there and an influx of high paying tech jobs will push the housing market into SF territory over time.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 02:37 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,006,335 times
Reputation: 2661
Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post
People keep bringing up Boston as an option but all I keep asking myself is "WHERE in Boston?". The city itself is pretty developed and, off the top of my head, I can't think of any large tracks of land/space that would work for Amazon. Even if you branch it out to the metro area and include surrounding towns/cities like Cambridge, Quincy, Watertown, Newton, Milton, etc, it's pretty much all developed. IDK, I guess there are places in Dedham near the Dedham Mall (I haven't been out if that direction in over a decade), but that area is almost completely void of public transportation. Which brings me to my next point: once you start looking outside the Boston/Cambridge/Quincy metro area, public transportation options almost ceases to exist. Yes, there is the commuter rail, but nearly every large metro has some sort of commuter train service that brings in people from the 'burbs to the city core. I feel like when people say "Boston", they really mean Natick or Weymouth, or Lowell, or some other smaller town outside of Boston where the costs are lower but all the pros of choosing Boston in the first place are eliminated (e.g., public transportation, quick access to the airport, culture, etc).

I for one am hoping they don't choose Boston-- the city is pricey enough for the people already there and an influx of high paying tech jobs will push the housing market into SF territory over time.
Boston:

Suffolk Downs
USPS Parcel and South Station Tower
Boston Flower Exchange
Government Center Garage and State Services building
Veolia Steam Plant Redevelopment
Allston Beacon Yards
Sullivan Square Redevelopment
Hood Parcel Charlestown

Cambridge:

MIT Volpe Center

Somerville:

Inner Belt
 
Old 09-14-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 933,255 times
Reputation: 1119
I don't think N. Carolina has a chance in hell. The cities are very suburban in nature and none have a transit system worth mentioning as well as none have airport/downtown rail connections. To me the ONLY city in the South that has a chance is Atlanta.

I would put Philly and especially Chicago further up the scale except they both share a main drawback......their murder/crime rates. Remember these workers are going to be very highly skilled and educated in a field where work is everywhere. These potential workers can get a well paying job anywhere they damn well please. It will be very hard to recruit workers from elsewhere in NA or worldwide to a city like Chicago that gets over 600 murders a year as opposed to Toronto which is larger and gets far less than one-tenth that number. Also it will be hard to convince such mobile workers to come to a city which are both declining in population. How do you convince a company they can get workers when the cities themselves can't even keep the populations they have?

This is also creates problems in terms of quality of life. Any potential city has to offer very high quality of life including an excellent K to 12 education system in the inner cities. Amazon wants to not only get the workers but equally important they want to keep them. Hard to keep workers when their kids are afraid to go to school and the schools are sub-standard.

This is why I still think it comes down to 3 main choices........Boston, Toronto, and Washington.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,054,090 times
Reputation: 3925
As much as I don't want it here, Minneapolis does check a lot of the boxes. It has an ideal large developable site near the Farmers Market. The area is technically part of downtown. It is mostly undeveloped but slated to get a station on the Southwest LRT line that is close to construction. It has an educated work force, liberal politics and a high quality of life. The airport is a Delta hub, and there is a light rail connection from the inside of the airport to downtown. The main issue is that there is no enthusiasm for bribing them to come here. The state and local government will probably throw them a dollar and tell them that they can come if they want.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 03:39 PM
 
2,507 posts, read 2,269,683 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Except the mass transit, airport, and a sizable pool of tech talent. I love Richmond, but it's not on the list.

Shipping ports are non-factors here.

HQ2 could easily go to Baltimore and take advantage of its lower costs while still having access to the DC/Baltimore regional tech talent pool.
I also hope for Bmore! It would be such a great addition to the city and would would be a win for both Philly, DC and the area.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
760 posts, read 588,716 times
Reputation: 1482
I would love to see Minneapolis win!

I honestly feel that metro deserves it the most. The city is just all around great, and it gets nowhere near enough recognition. People just mention the winters, and that's usually the end of the conversation. I moved there on a whim for a job, not expecting to like it, and I was always surprised by how great of a place it is.

It also reminds me a lot of Seattle. Transit, good airport, great universities, tons of outdoor recreation, walk/bikable, room to grow, low housing costs, great quality of life.

Here is an interesting article about Denver:
https://www.denverite.com/amazon-500...-plains-42525/

Quote:
“This an opportunity for Denver to invest in itself as opposed to investing in Amazon,” Segal said. “What could differentiate Denver from these other cities is not larding incentives at Amazon but actually use this to create a stronger sort of opportunity basis here in terms of affordable housing, education and transportation.”

If Amazon likes Denver as it is and wants to support an inclusive, diverse culture, the city will need to invest civic resources so neighborhoods aren’t changed as a result of Amazon coming, he said.

“When a company is going to invest $5 billion, they want to know the state’s investing in them as well, so we’re going to work within in the framework of our programs and offer what we can conservatively, as we always do,”
^ This was slightly reassuring. It's good to know that Denver isn't going to go out of their way to attract amazon. Let the cities that need Amazon do the "wooing". Denver, Austin, and Boston don't need Amazon, Amazon needs them.

I also like the idea that a previous poster mentioned about making a "Austin of the 90s". It would be cool to see them pick a "nowhere" city in hopes of making it a brand new tech hub. And really, that is what they should be going for. Sure places like Columbus, Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Madison, Raleigh, etc don't have the "nice to haves", but they could use a low COL city as foundation to build something great in the future.
 
Old 09-14-2017, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,021 posts, read 13,542,402 times
Reputation: 8045
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Boston:

Suffolk Downs
USPS Parcel and South Station Tower
Boston Flower Exchange
Government Center Garage and State Services building
Veolia Steam Plant Redevelopment
Allston Beacon Yards
Sullivan Square Redevelopment
Hood Parcel Charlestown

Cambridge:

MIT Volpe Center

Somerville:

Inner Belt
Are these legitimate options that the city has proposed or are they just large parcels of space you think could work? I think Volpe is being developed as mostly residential and Inner Belt is just blah. It's the part of Somerville that honestly holds little to no appeal, hence why it's still kind of run down (if I'm getting the area right, there's not much around there but highway overpasses and a couple of rinky-dink shopping plazas). Government Center is also very blah with some world-renowned ugly buildings that Amazon may not want to deal with.

If this had been announced 10-15 years ago, then a spot like Station Landing in Medford, Assembly Sq in Somerville, or maybe even South Boston before it got super hot and developed would have been good options. These spots have all been nabbed though and I can only assume any similar areas left will come at quite the cost. Heck, Harvard has always been notorious at snapping up property and land and many of the other universities do so as well.

It still doesn't address the housing issue however and housing in Boston is at quite the premium. I can easily see it turning into a problem similar to what's happening in San Francisco. The city doesn't really have any more space to build out and it can't build up past a certain point. It'll push workers into the 'burbs/inner belt and cancel out the benefits of choosing Boston in the first place.
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